At our Annual General Meeting on Friday, September 20, 2019, WESN released a new report on issues facing older adult renters in the West End neighbourhood of Vancouver. This report was a follow-up and update to a 2012 report, and highlights how these issues have not improved over the past seven years. Some key findings include:
- Older adults fearing displacement from the West End increased from 29% in 2012 to 62% in 2019.
- This fear is based on seeing others displaced. In 2012, 31% of older adult survey respondents knew an older adult forced to leave the West End because they could no longer afford to live here. In 2019, that figure increased to 60%.
- Survey respondents said that if their rent was to increase $50 per month, they would need to cut back on social activities (55%) or medication costs (20%). Fewer older adults responded that they would not be able to afford to stay in their apartment in 2019 (26%) than in 2012 (35%), but this may indicate they are now more willing to take other steps to maintain their existing housing than face the prospect of trying to find other housing.
The report includes several recommendations for multiple levels of government, including building more social housing for low-income older adults, increasing Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) rent ceilings, and supporting the expansion of the Older Adult Housing Navigation service offered by WESN.
To read the full report, please click here.