Affordable Housing for Seniors

We received these comments from “Diane” …Thank you for your support regarding seniors. Please support seniors who receive rent subsidies and live in a housing co-operative. Others, like myself, are living with the daily fear of becoming homeless in March of 2018. I can not afford market rent in the area in which I live and I am disabled and unable to move. Thank You! Please help!

Nothing is more revealing about the character of a society than the way it respects its elders. For any elder to live in daily dread of being turned out of their homes and of becoming homeless on the streets is not “who we are as Canadians”.  Diane’s comments come shortly after two other readers contacted us with concerns about Seniors housing. Maybe it is time to review the governments promises for Affordable Housing in the 2015 Platform. Do you have concerns about housing for Seniors? Let us hear from you! Remember…”better is always possible”.

Here are some excerpts from the 2015 Platform:

  • make it easier for Canadians to find an affordable place to call home. Today, one in four Canadian households is paying more than it can afford for housing, and one in eight cannot find affordable housing that is safe, suitable, and well maintained. When affordable housing is in short supply, Canadians feel less secure and our whole economy suffers.
  • renew federal leadership in housing, starting with a new, ten-year investment in social infrastructure.
  • prioritize investments in affordable housing and seniors’ facilities, build more new housing units and refurbish old ones, give support to municipalities to maintain rent-geared-to-income subsidies in co-ops, and give communities the money they need for Housing First initiatives that help homeless Canadians find stable housing.
  • encourage the construction of new rental housing by removing all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing. This will provide $125 million per year in tax incentives to grow and renovate the supply of rental housing across Canada.
  • modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan to allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to buy a house without tax penalty. This will ease the burden on Canadians facing job relocation, the death of a spouse, marital breakdown, or a decision to accommodate an elderly family member.
  • direct the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support the construction of new, affordable rental housing for middle- and low-income Canadians.
  • conduct an inventory of all available federal lands and buildings that could be repurposed, and make some of these lands available at low cost for affordable housing in communities where there is a pressing need.
  • review escalating home prices in high-priced markets, like Toronto and Vancouver, and consider all policy tools that could keep home ownership within reach for more Canadians.
  • immediately restore the mandatory long-form census to ensure that decisions on housing are made using the best and most up-to-date data available.

Also, the following resolution was submitted by British Columbia and approved at the Biennial Meeting in Winnipeg in 2016:

HOMELESSNESS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Moved by the Liberal Party of Canada (British Columbia)

The Liberal Party of Canada urges the federal government to consider measures to: develop better data on the operation of the housing markets, including on the impact of foreign investment; increase supply of affordable housing, including rental, by providing financial support or other incentives, or by creating dis-incentives to leaving housing units vacant; close existing tax loopholes related housing transactions and strengthen compliance with tax provisions; improve energy efficiency in newly built housing.

The Liberal Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to remain accountable to citizens with an annual report of number of homeless housed and the number of homeless not yet settled into housing across Canada; and a national housing action plan be developed as a matter of urgency that will produce affordable safe housing for Canadians at all income levels and implement the initiatives identified in the 2015 LPC platform.

 

 

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Barbara Plumstead
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Barbara Plumstead

The Liberals seem very focused on helping the “middle class”. Not that long go, I counted myself as middle class. Then my relationship ended, and as we all know, women don’t earn the same kind of wages that men do, Having to cover cover costs related to housing. put me in a lower income situation. Then I was forced into retirement 5 years early, due to serious health issues, and pension I was counting on for the rest of my life is nowhere near what I needed. My income now qualifies me for subsidized housing. However, all reports indicate that… Read more »