COLUMN: Seniors town hall highlights

Columnist ML Burke has a few takeaways from the recent seniors town hall meeting in Ladner

I was invited by the Liberal Riding Association to present the Seniors 55+ Housing Survey results at a non-partisan town hall meeting in Ladner. Two things came out of that meeting that I believe deserve more exposure: one is the South Delta seniors’ bus and the other is grants for people needing financial help to fix their homes or pay their rent.

The event was well attended and included many of our politicians from all levels of government. Someone asked if the South Delta seniors’ bus would take seniors to the new mall. Coun. Sylvia Bishop said no because it is in a different jurisdiction (i.e. outside of Delta). A few days later I asked for clarification. The answer: They won’t look at changing their current policy or their route to local shops unless the Tsawwassen First Nation wishes to help financially support the bus.

This seems not only petty but downright mean-spirited. Why would they deny a few seniors access to this mall when the bus passes right by it, including to the ferry terminal? The North Delta Seniors’ bus will go into Surrey for hospital appointments. The Tsawwassen Mills mall is a place where someone could go to enjoy free activities inside a warm holiday environment, or simply go to people-watch, which helps to battle depression and social isolation in these dark days of winter. If you agree, please write to our mayor and council.

As to financial assistance for homeowners, landlords and renters, there are a few programs administered through BC Housing you should know about.

One program, HAFI (Home Adaptations for Independence), offers up to $40,000 in forgivable loans (grants) to homeowners and landlords for renovations that would allow you or your tenants to stay in your home. The loan is forgiven if you remain in the home for three years.

To qualify, your annual household income must be below $38,500 for a single person, $42,500 for a couple, $52,000 for three to four people, $64,500 for five to six people or $68,500 for seven to eight people. Your household assets must also be less than $100,000.

When calculating, don’t include RRSPs, RESPs, RDSPs, RRIFs, vehicles and the home that you live in, but do include your cash or bank balance, stocks, bonds, term deposits, mutual funds, business equity, other land, real estate or property holdings. Your HAFI application must be approved before starting any work.

Another program, SAFER (Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters), will top up your rent payment to a maximum of $750 a month. To qualify, you must be paying more than 30 per cent of your income in rent and have lived in BC for at least a year.

Additionally, you must be 60 or older, and a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, permanent resident or refugee applicant. Your gross monthly income must be less than $2,550 for singles, $2,750 for couples or $1,776 if sharing. There are also rental subsidies available for low- to middle-income working families.

Details about these and other programs can be found online at bchousing.org (go to the “Housing Options” page) or by phoning 604-433-2218.

If you or someone you know needs assistance filling out an application form, you can make an appointment with Delta’s Seniors’ Coordinator, Eva Busich-Veloso, at 604-787-1242.

ML Burke retired from the health sector to work on issues such as affordable housing. She sits on the Delta Seniors Planning Team and the BC Seniors Advocate’s Council of Advisors.

Just Posted

PART ONE: Surrey’s Matt Desrocher conquers demons with wrestling

After a rocky upbringing, Desrocher learned valuable lessons during his journey up wrestling’s ladder

Surrey’s Eric Basran named to 2018 Commonwealth Games

The 18-year-old was one of seven Canadians who were chosen to participate internationally

Surrey businesses surveyed about government red tape

City of Surrey best, feds the worst, according to respondents

Surrey driver crashes into tree after going into cardiac arrest

Westbound on 64th Avenue is closed at 144th Street

Have your say: Cloverdale-Langley City MP invites feedback on the 2018 Federal Budget

Four surveys available to provide feedback on ‘progress for middle class,’ gender equality and more

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Police appeal for info after girl, 11, hit in New Westminster crosswalk

Child was left with non-life threatening injuries

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Country-rockers Blackjack Billy to play ‘Raise ‘Em Up’ New Year’s Eve party

The ‘Booze Cruise’ band headlined Gone Country benefit concert in Surrey two summers ago

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

UPDATED: Byelection lawsuit cost Langley City $27,000

Last-place candidate Serena Oh failed to convince the Supreme Court to hear her case.

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

Most Read