Saturday , 10 April 2021

Seniors Minister’s Office Focused on Helping Seniors With Greatest Need First

Image Credit: Connor Mah

The Minister of Seniors and Housing Office says that they are focused on giving the seniors with the greatest need first when applying for housing, despite some frustration locally.

This is a follow-up to the recent member’s statement by MLA Scott Cyr that said the government is turning their backs on seniors by not allowing more flexibility with the scoring matrix, specifically the income threshold.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing and Seniors (MLA Lori Sigurdson) said:

“Our government has the backs of seniors and we’re fighting to ensure all seniors have a safe and affordable place to call home.  We’ve made it a priority to help more Alberta seniors age with dignity close to home, family and other support networks. We also know that failure to invest in the past has led to overcrowded lodges, and seniors in communities like Bonnyville are struggling.

“While priority for housing supports is carefully balanced on needs and is focused on assisting those in greatest need first, we are working to increase the options available to seniors in communities across the province. In Bonnyville, $13 million is being invested in Bonnylodge to double the amount of available space and help more seniors age in their home community.”

If an applicant is over the income threshold it hurts their chances of getting into a lodge because it is the most heavily weighted category on the form. It’s above risk, degree of independence, housing needs and special circumstances.

The income threshold for subsidized senior’s housing is $28,650.

Twenty-seven of the 77 applicants to the Bonnylodge are “high-income.”

When Bonnylodge is finished construction it will have 120 rooms.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.