Zora Hlevnjak is thankful that somebody paid her back rent and promises to pay it back provided she can find out the identity of her benefactor and if the benefactor is not a multi-millionaire. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney woman promises to pay back anonymous donor who covered her back rent

Zora Hlevnjak faced eviction after refusing to repay money earned collecting cans

A Sidney woman is thankful that somebody paid her back rent and promises to pay it back provided she can find out the identity of her benefactor, who remains unknown, and if the benefactor is not a multi-millionaire.

Zora Hlevnjak avoided eviction on Jan. 21 from her subsidized housing apartment in Sidney after Beacon Community Services had received payment for the back rent that Hlevnjak owed. “As well, we’re satisfied arrangements have now been made for payment of future rent in accordance with BC Housing rules with some private support, provided in a manner that is consistent with BC Housing regulations,” said Kerry Readshaw, communications director with Beacon Community Services.

She neither disclosed the amount paid nor the identity of Hlevnjak’s benefactor.

Not surprisingly, Hlevnjak said she feels “good” about the resolution of the issue. “Yesterday, they would have thrown me out,” she said.

RELATED: Anonymous Good Samaritan pays outstanding rent for Sidney woman facing eviction

Hlevnjak faced eviction from subsidized housing after failing to pay three month’s worth of back rent following a rent increase of more than $300 per month. In early January, she owed $1,087.

Her rent rose under the terms of subsidized housing that require tenants to pay 30 per cent of their income towards rent following submission of financial information.

“We didn’t raise the rent,” said Tim O’Brien, who manages Wakefield Manor where Hlevnjak has been staying since 2004, earlier. “She just started to report her proper income.”

Hlevnjak supplements her pension by returning empty cans and receiving donations from individuals, but does not consider these sources of ‘income’ in arguing that Beacon Community Services is not deserving of that money.

RELATED: Sidney woman facing eviction receives offers of help, but also questions about honesty

RELATED: Sidney woman refuses to pay back rent on income raised collecting empty cans

RELATED: Sidney woman has launched petition to help senior facing eviction

Hlevnjak said she does not know the identity of her benefactor, but happily accepts the support if it came from a multi-millionaire. “From those, I think would easily accept [the money], but from hard-working people, I am sorry for them, and feel obligated to pay them back,” she said. “I feel guilty using them.”

This said, Hlevnjak insists that money she collects through cans and donation should remain off-limits.

“I like to fight to the end, with [BC Housing] and Beacon [Community Services],” she said. “They are peeling my skin off like from rabbit or having my neck in the yoke like slave people had,” she said. ‘They want to take money from me which they didn’t deserve. Let them go. Let the government go through garbage and make that money, then they will know what I go through.”

By way of background, Hlevnjak’s rent will undergo a review in the fall, with the proviso that relevant agencies will likely be aware of her various sources of income in light of the publicity that her story has generated after she had approached media. Hlevnjak acknowledged that aspect.

Her story has also generated comments from readers questioning her honesty, after she revealed that she had been sending money for decades to extended relatives in Croatia in claiming that they are poor. Hlevnjak has promised to continue that practice.

The Peninsula News Review has reached out to several individuals to ask them about any financial contributions which might have made towards Hlevnjak’s cause.

Two individuals — Dave Lloyd, owner of Victoria Drain Services based in Saanich, and Breanne Brown, a former North Saanich resident now living in Australia — had previously told the Peninsula News Review that they would be prepared to pay the woman’s outstanding rent.

The Peninsula News Review also contacted Keith Funk, a Kelowna-based developer, with whom Hlevnjak has had contact in the past.

The Peninsula News Review will update this story, when and if comments become available.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read