Renter feeling mistreated at Seabird

This seems to be a way for Seabird Island band to get rid of those most vulnerable, says letter writer

The treatment that Seabird Island Band has given current renters on their reserve is despicable. Recently Seabird Island Band has increased its rent for the rental properties. I am not opposed to an increase; however my previous rent was $250 for a one bedroom. The rent was then increased to $475 effective October 2013. This is a rental increase of 90%.  If the rental increase was off reserve this increase would only be of inflation rate plus 2%; but because this is regarding a reserve and considered Federal land, they are able to allow this increase and Residential Tenancy laws do not apply.

I personally was not given written notification of this rental increase until October 7, 2013.  If I didn’t attend a community meeting October 1, 2013 I wouldn’t have known about the rental increase at all. Supposedly notification was sent out in August 2013 regarding this rental increase; however I was not told verbally or written until October 7, 2013.

I am currently receiving disability pension, and the increase in rent is taking away all of the money I had set aside for groceries. Seabird Island band is treating its renters atrociously. The most vulnerable, (elders, disabled, etc.) are heavily effected with this rental increase.

In my personal opinion, this seems to be a way for Seabird Island band to get rid of those most vulnerable, and make them move off-reserve because they can no longer live on-reserve anymore.

Lionel Patterson

Agassiz