by Marion Pollack

In June 2023, representatives from 411 appeared in front of BC’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. We argued for long term stable core funding for seniors centres, such as the 411 Seniors Centre. We also talked about the need to improve the Shelter Allowance for Elderly Renters (SAFER).

On August 10 2023 we had a virtual meeting with BC’s Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors and Long Term Care –Harwinder Sandhu. At this meeting we talked about how our staff and board spend too much time applying for grants and funding instead of working with seniors. We spoke about the need for long term secure funding for our seniors centre. We said that the current rent ceiling for SAFER is too low and it needs to be raised.

On August 14, 2023, we met with the Honourable Ravi Khalon, the Provincial Minister of Housing. We gave MLA Khalon a tour of our great Centre and spoke to him about the housing needs of seniors. We reiterated our concern about the low rent ceiling for SAFER, and spoke about the many seniors who come to the 411 Information and Referral programme for information and assistance on housing issues.

We said there is a huge need for real affordable housing for seniors and how this needs to be resolved. We pointed out that real affordable housing for senior often does not generate the type of community opposition that other types of affordable housing seems to generate. We mentioned we are seeing an increase of seniors being evicted because their landlord wants to use their suite for “family reasons”. And, we said that seniors who have English as an additional language face many barriers seeking housing and this needs to be addressed.

The 411 Seniors Centre is on your side!!

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