Rising rents and housing costs in Vancouver could squeeze out subsidized rental units for seniors needing affordable assisted-living housing in the city, warns B.C.’s seniors advocate.

The rare termination of a contract by Terraces on 7th, a Vancouver retirement home, which it had with Vancouver Coastal Health to provide a portion of its suites for less than market rates, is a worrying sign for seniors who can’t afford market rents, said Isobel Mackenzie.

“We haven’t had this happen before,” she said. “In assisted living homes, it’s always been the health authority that has ended the contract and has said we don’t need the units any more.

“This is raising a red flag and it’s not just happening with assisted living contracts, but private operators of residential care homes can terminate contracts, too,” she said.

Mackenzie said when VCH began to enter into contracts several years ago with owners to provide subsidized units, retirement homes were happy to offer suites that they had trouble filling in return for guaranteed income.

“Everybody was lining up for the government subsidies,” she said.

But seniors selling their own homes that have risen in value considerably are in a better position these days to pay top dollar for rents or to buy units in retirement complexes and there may be a shift away from the subsidization model, she said.

Source: The Province


  • eviction
    • to tell someone legally that they must leave the house they are living in
  • squeeze out
    • to do something so that someone or something is no longer included or able to continue
    • squeeze STH out
    • squeeze STH out from SB
  • subsidize (BrE), subsidise (AmE)
    • Support (an organization or activity) financially
  • advocate
    • A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.
  • rate
    • The number of examples of something within a certain period.
    • [think] price, fee, fare, toll
  • authority
    • A person or organization having political or administrative power and control.
  • raise a red flag
    • a sign of some particular problem requiring attention.
  • enter into
    • Become involved in
  • fill in
    • to fill with some material
  • return
    • A profit from an investment.
  • rise
    • to increase
  • considerably
    • a lot
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