Johanna Buschau has been told she has to leave Co-op. (THE NEWS/files)

Senior told to leave co-op in Maple Ridge

General membership vote confirms eviction of 70-year-old

Johanna Buschau is looking for a place to live.

The retired licenced practical nurse lost an appeal of her eviction from the Haney Pioneer Village Coop during a vote by the general membership on Sept. 27.

Buschau has rented a one-bedroom suite in the Maple Ridge co-op for four years, for $502 a month, but was told in August she had to vacate her unit on Sept. 30, after she saved her son from a fentanyl overdose this summer.

Her son showed up on her doorstep on July 31, and collapsed in her doorway. She took him in, to save his life, despite an order from the co-op board of directors banning her son from the premises.

“He was just really run down. I had to make a decision that night on whether to break a rule or save his life. Do you understand now why I had to save his life?” she said earlier.

Her son’s now in treatment, and Buschau, 70, is now wondering when she has to move out.

“I don’t have a place to go. I can’t afford $1,000 a month or whatever it is, (for rent).”

Buschau’s final eviction appeal involved the general membership of the co-op, up to 83 residents, voting by secret ballot, on whether to uphold her eviction. But when the counting was completed, only 17 residents voted to allow her to stay.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said.

Friend Renee Tyson said Buschau was devastated by the decision. “I can’t understand all this animosity, just because she allowed her son in.”

A year ago, in August 2016, Buschau was told that her son can’t visit the premises. That was followed by another letter from the Co-op this April saying that he can no longer enter her home, effectively immediately.

Co-op policies state that no one should cause a disturbance or cause distress to others.

Her son has diabetes, along with mental health issues. He stayed with her there for a month, with permission of management, in 2014. This year, Buschau said, he’s stayed overnight five times.

Buschau knows that contradicts an order from the board banning her son from the premises, but says he hasn’t caused any problems with the neighbours. She said he sometimes yells and swears, but that’s indoors and she wonders how others can hear that in the rancher co-op complex.

An August letter from the co-op’s board of directors cites a co-op a policy that says no one should cause any distress to anyone and that she has allowed her son, despite repeated warnings, to attend the premises, where he has “continued to cause disturbances,” which is against the occupancy agreement.

Lawyer for the Co-op Geoffrey Dabbs said that Buschau agreed she wouldn’t let her son come back, but then kept allowing him to return causing further disturbances.