The Office of the Seniors Advocate released in September its new Report, Falling Further Behind, in which Isobel Mckenzie analyzes the income, expenses, and housing arrangements of seniors, and emphasizes that the situation is deteriorating. According to the report, market rent and inflation have increased faster than seniors’ income. Half of seniors are reported to have an income below minimum wage and 25% of BC seniors earn less than $21,000 per year. Housing security continue to be of paramount importance to seniors, with half of low-income seniors reporting being worried about their ability to keep their home. The average wait-time for Seniors Subsidized Housing has reached three years.
In the past two years, Seniors First BC’s Legal Advocacy Program, which assists low-income seniors with issues related to income security (welfare, government benefits), debt and residential tenancy issues, has seen a 50% increase in referrals.
If you need help relating to government benefits, residential tenancy or debt issues, contact our Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) at 604-437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940 (Weekdays 8 am to 8 pm, and weekends 10 am to 5:30 pm, except statutory holidays). Our trained intake workers can refer you to appropriate programs, including Seniors First BC’s Legal Advocacy Program.