At the Hamilton Housing Valier complex at Jackson and Hess Street the most popular TV channel is the one tuned to the security camera which is trained on the lobby. The complex has become a notorious hangout for drug dealers and addicts. In the past month there have been confirmed stabbings and other acts of violence. Recently City Housing tenant Peter Llewellyn supplied this picture of a man getting buzzed into the building who he says is tied to the deaths of two tenants.. According to Peter the man in the picture is the same person who was in an apartment when a tenant fell to his death from the 16th floor. he says the man was also in the company of a female tenant who recently died of a cocaine overdose. Llewellyn says that the complex is especially targeted when the welfare cheques are distributed with aggressive dealers intimidating addicted tenants to buy more drugs.

Meanwhile Peter Hasek who has been active in organizing tenants to form a task force to demand improved security says he is effectively being evicted from his apartment September 1, by having his rent subsidy revoked on the grounds that he has been absent from the apartment for more than 120 days. Hasek has no kidneys. He was born with only one and when he suffered an aneurysm 5 years ago he lost the other. He requires dialysis 4 days a week, and sometimes when it has been a particularly rough dialysis session he stays with his mother in Ancaster, but he insist he is in the apartment every week.  Hasek says he can’t help but think it is more than a coincidence that the eviction notice comes just days before he attended a meeting of disgruntled tenants who feel not enough is being done to end the lawlessness in the complex. City housing officials said they cannot comment on the matter because it “ involves confidential information and personal matters.” The former Cable 14 TV crew volunteer says initially he was treated very well by Hamilton Housing when he became disabled, but more recently he senses a change as residents have demanded more security. He is appealing the eviction order through a community legal clinic.

 

John Best had enjoyed a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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