The length of the waiting list for affordable seniors' housing on P.E.I. has doubled in the last five years, says the P.E.I. Senior Citizens' Federation, and the government isn't doing enough to address the problem.

There are currently 725 seniors on the list.


Charlotte's Court, which opened in 2011, is one of the newest seniors' housing complexes on P.E.I. (CBC)

Seniors' federation president John Kenny told CBC News Monday seniors waiting for affordable housing are suffering real hardships.

"I know people that are living in apartments but they're running out of money and you know they can't afford to stay there anymore," said Kenny.

"Everything keeps going up and up and up and they're just living on the bare minimum. They're going to have no medication, or they're going to have no heat or no power or [go] hungry or something to pay the rent."

Under the provincial seniors' housing program, seniors pay 25 per cent of their income as rent. In 2011 there were 1,152 seniors housing units on P.E.I.

Last week in the legislature, Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty said there's no money in this year's budget to build any more affordable housing units, but federal money should be available next year. The province is expanding its program of rent subsidies for families, providing 20 additional rent subsidies for families in existing housing.

Kenny said the federation will keep pressing government to create more spaces for seniors.