For more information about the Highland Park Resident Council, or to donate to the group, email Elizabeth Hamilton at [email protected] in the Highland Park apartments wasn’t what many residents hoped it would be.In Vancouver’s VanMall neighborhood, the federally subsidized living quarters for the 62-and-older crowd seemed a little run-down. The windows looked like they hadn’t been washed in ages. The carpet was stained with dog urine and the laundry room was dirty. The community center wasn’t lively enough, and life seemed lonely and glum for some seniors.“A lot of the residents feel as though they have nothing to do except sit in their apartments and watch TV,” resident Elizabeth Hamilton, 73, said. “Once you retire and you’re not active in going to work every day or taking care of your family … time can hang heavy on hands.”A group of residents there, though, have decided to do something about it. After researching public housing rules, they formed a resident council that they hope will give them a stronger voice as they work with the building’s management to boost their surroundings and their spirits.Since forming, residents have bombarded the council with ideas. A pool table and a piano in the community room. Replacing the carpets and sanitizing the laundry room. Finding affordable car-washing and dog-washing services.They also hope to beef up security, by installing a gate and security cameras, after some of the residents were harassed by teens who were riding their bikes through the building’s grounds. Essentially, the council has created its own mini representative government for its residents, and its six board members hope to meet regularly with management to express resident concerns.