Fewer affordable housing options, coupled with increasing rent prices, are creating a serious crisis among seniors in Canada. In Vancouver and several other cities in British Columbia, seniors tend to be overlooked in the housing debates. Here are just a few problems they can encounter.
Nowhere to Go
When the housing market makes it nearly impossible to find an affordable place to live, many seniors must turn to other options. If there are no family members nearby or they don’t have a place for them to live, a senior could be forced to seek a roommate, stay with others temporarily, or even live in their car. Some seniors have struggled so badly that they are now living on the streets in Vancouver.
Income and Cost of Living Factors
While debates and proposed solutions to the housing crisis in Canada are underway, these tend to focus on younger members of the population who are struggling to pay rent. Although rent increases impact everyone in the community, seniors tend to take the hardest hit. Between their lower incomes and higher costs of living, including the need for medical care, they may feel like it’s impossible to afford the increased rent prices.
SAFER Subsidy Isn’t Sufficient
British Columbia has a subsidy available, called Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER), but it’s only applied to a certain cap. In the Lower Mainland, the cap is $765 per month, but data from the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation shows that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is closer to $1,200. In the past ten years, rent prices have increased by forty-five percent, but the subsidy cap has only increased nine percent.
There’s a way to connect with other seniors who might be in a similar situation Whether you’re looking for a friend or to spark discussion and debate about global politics, visit the online forum at Super Senior Connection and get help as you face challenges in this phase of your life.
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