Seniors living in the Township of Langley need more affordable housing options.
That was the message sent to council on June 26, following delegations at both their afternoon and evening meetings.
Kathy Reddington, co-chair of the Langley Seniors Community Action Table (LSCAT) and Marilyn Fischer of Triple A Seniors Housing came to council to voice their support for an affordable housing motion tabled by Coun. Petrina Arnason.
In that motion — which was passed unanimously later that night — Arnason requested that council hold a council priorities committee meeting to discuss creating a framework for affordable housing protocols. This would include identifying specific criteria, policies and negotiating tools as it relates to the rezoning process, along with an engagement strategy for stakeholders.
Her motion comes just as Langley’s real estate market hits the $1 million mark for the average price of a detached single family home. The benchmark price for a townhouse is now $464,300, and for an apartment, $311,000.
Reddington said that affordable housing for seniors “has become a significant issue in Langley” and has been a primary focus for LSCAT since 2012.
“According to Canada mortgage and housing data, even in 2013, in Langley a person (aged) 65 plus at median income had to spend $52 more than his 30 per cent of income for median rent on a one bedroom,” Reddington said. “We can just imagine what that’s like today.”
She also requested that LSCAT take a “key role” in engaging with Langley seniors and the Township on this issue.
Fischer, too, relayed the importance of affordable housing to council.
“Though we recognize that current market conditions have led to a critical reduction in the availability of affordable housing for all, seniors, particularly those without housing equity, are suffering and becoming hopeless — and even homeless — due to exorbitant rent increases,” she said.
“… When we refer to Triple A Seniors Housing, we are not referring to for-profit or subsidized, independent or supportive housing, specifically. But to a range of affordable, accessible and appropriate housing options to meet the needs and preferences of older residents in our community.”