British Columbia

B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie urges housing help for elderly

The B.C. Seniors Advocate is urging the provincial government to accept 18 recommendations to make housing more affordable, available and appropriate for the province's elderly.

Mackenzie wants B.C. to accept 18 recommendations to make seniors' housing affordable, available, appropriate

B.C. seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie is urging the provincial government to allow seniors more flexibility in choosing where they live in care. (CBC)

The B.C. Seniors Advocate is urging the provincial government to accept 18 recommendations to make housing more affordable, available and appropriate for the province's elderly.

Isobel Mackenzie has released a wide-ranging report after canvassing thousands of seniors across the province over the past year.

She says the number one message she heard was that housing isn't meeting the needs of some seniors, 93 per cent of whom are living independently and whose greatest need is financial help.

The report calls on the province to increase subsidies for low-income seniors through the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program.

Mackenzie says she worries some seniors are forgoing basics needs such as dental care and hearing aids in order to pay their rent.

The report also recommends developing a strategy for creating more housing in rural regions, and implementing a program that allows 80 per cent of seniors who own their homes to defer paying hydro, home insurance and major repairs until it is sold.

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