Depending on the type of housing you require, and your financial resources, you may benefit from subsidies offered by the BC government.
Renters may benefit from the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program. This is a rent supplement offered through BC Housing to lower income seniors renting in the private market. Applicants must meet certain Canadian citizenship requirement and be permanent residents of BC for at least 12 months. You must also be at least 60 years of age and must be paying more than 30% of your gross monthly household income towards the rent. Criteria specifics and application forms can be found at www.bchousing.org or you can call 1-800-257-7756.
Veterans Independence Program offers a variety of assistance. Call 1-866-522-2122 or visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website at www.vac-acc.gc.ca
Access to subsidized housing in Assisted Living or Residential Care facilities requires an assessment by a government case worker from the Home and Community Care office of your regional Health Authority.
This case worker will determine your need for services and whether you are able to pay any additional costs not covered by the government subsidy.
Typically, if you qualify for subsidization at the Assisted Living level you will be required to pay 70% of your after-tax income toward your housing costs, and the government will pay the rest. The income of your spouse will be assessed as well, if the two of you will be living together.
You can access a case worker or get more information by calling the Home and Community office in your area. All these offices fall under the umbrella of five Health Authorities in BC. The contacts below can provide you with the Home and Community office nearest you.
If you are assessed at the level of needing Residential Care, a different funding scenario kicks in that covers most, if not all, of your housing and care costs. Some senior residences offer care at both Assisted Living and Residential Care levels, which allows you to stay within the facility as your care needs increase. Some senior residences only offer Assisted Living care, requiring you to move to a different Residential Care facility if your care needs exceed their care provision abilities. Some now offer residents the opportunity to stay, provided you purchase adequate care support from an outside agency. This is something to discuss with the senior residence when you make initial application or take a tour.
Fraser Health 604-587-4600
Interior Health 250-862-4200
Island Health 250-370-8699
Northern Health 250-565-2649
Vancouver Coastal Health 604-736-2033
For other subsidies and benefits program, visit the Government of BC website.
More information about helpful subsidy programs to renovate your home, hire care assistance, etc. is provided by in the book “To Move or Not To Move? – A Helpful Guide for Senior Considering Their Residential Options”. This 128-page book can be purchased for $14.95 from the INSPIRED office at 3354 Tennyson Avenue, Victoria BC. Or you can order it online at www.seniorlivingmag.com/product/to-move-or-not-to-move or call 250-479-4705 ext 100. Taxes and shipping costs are extra.