June 15, 2024

In April, the B.C. authorities introduced modifications that can enable 4,800 extra seniors to qualify for lease subsidies. However Dan Levitt desires to see this system redesigned.

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B.C.’s new seniors advocate is asking on authorities to revamp a program that gives lease subsidies for low-income seniors, saying latest enhancements don’t go far sufficient.

In April, the provincial authorities introduced a one-time $430 fee, plus will increase in month-to-month advantages, earnings eligibility and lease ceilings that can enable about 4,800 extra seniors to qualify for the shelter help for aged renters program, or SAFER.

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However in his first report as seniors advocate, Dan Levitt mentioned your complete program wants an overhaul.

Proper now, the typical recipient of the lease subsidy places over 60 per cent of their earnings towards lease, he mentioned. He desires to see that modified to 30 per cent.

Levitt’s first suggestion in a report delivered Wednesday morning is for presidency to revamp the SAFER program to make sure seniors put 30 per cent or much less of their earnings to lease. He additionally referred to as for lease ceilings, the utmost lease that goes into figuring out the month-to-month subsidy, listed to inflation and adjusted to present market situations.

“With out query, essentially the most precarious group of seniors are the one in 5 who lease,” he mentioned within the report. “For low-income seniors topic to ‘renovictions’, it may be catastrophic, and looking for a brand new place to dwell in at the moment’s rental market is extremely difficult.”

He famous that when a seniors’ federal pension earnings goes up as a result of it’s tied to inflation, the SAFER subsidy is lowered, “leaving them no additional forward.”

In an interview final week, Levitt informed Postmedia he had spoken to individuals who have needed to depart their neighborhood to search out inexpensive rental housing elsewhere.

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“Growing old in place is a fantasy if you happen to can’t dwell in the neighborhood the place your loved ones is, the place your financial institution is, the place you purchase your groceries, and it’s a must to transfer elsewhere due to lease,” he mentioned.

Levitt, who took over after B.C.’s first seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie retired earlier this spring, made a number of different suggestions after a tour of the province, together with growing the quantity of the B.C. seniors complement, eliminating the each day charge cost for dwelling help and offering the shingles vaccine without charge to seniors.

However he mentioned the overwhelming concern he heard is affordability.

“(Seniors) are merely unable to soak up elevated prices for lease, groceries, transportation, property taxes, dwelling help, private care and different companies wanted as we age,” he wrote. “Seniors in homeless shelters and meals financial institution line ups now seem like commonplace.”

Extra to come back …

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