Seniors, their loved ones and people who work in the housing sector are invited to the Hope 4 Homes Conference and Resource Fair on Saturday, Sept. 7.
“We’re trying to appeal both to the seniors who might be needing affordable housing and being worried about trying to find some,” said Marilyn Fischer, president of the Triple A Seniors Housing Society.
That’s one of the morning sessions, entitled Plans, Policies and Partnerships. The session will also include representatives from the City and Township on their efforts and policies in terms of seniors housing and affordable housing.
“The economically vulnerable seniors are really in trouble in this market,” Fischer explained.
The afternoon sessions focuses more on the nuts and bolts of getting more affordable seniors housing actually constructed.
The speakers include economist Iglika Ivanova from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, along with the BC Non-Profit Housing, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Christian Life Assembly Church, and the Lions Housing Society as they all operate housing projects or have projects in the works.
Ivanova researches social and economic issues, including poverty, economic insecurity, government finances, tax policy, and labour market shifts and how such things relate to public policy, social justice, and inclusivity in society.
Triple A (which stands for affordable, accessible and appropriate) became a society earlier this year and changed its focus to affordable seniors housing.
“Land is the issue,” she said. “We need non-profit societies or churches or legions or other groups that have property that they can sort of throw into the pot.”
Then projects can leverage funds from various government departments and agencies to construct on that land, she explained. Otherwise, traditional private enterprise development does not typically want to get involved in affordable housing. Fischer said the community needs developers who are interested in more than just the “bottom line.”
She noted that there is financial help for renters who are economically vulnerable but many seniors want to stay in their homes and society doesn’t have as many supports.
The conference includes a resource fair that seniors and others may not know, such as Elder Dog, a service in which volunteers help care for seniors’ dogs so they can keep what is often their dearest companions.
“I’ve beat the bushes to find services,” she said.
The conference is funded by the City and Township as well as BC Housing and Vancity, and takes place at the United Churches of Langley Murrayville (formerly Sharon United), 21562 Old Yale Rd.
Check in and late registration happens between 9 and 10 a.m. Longtime local newspaper editor Frank Bucholtz is the moderator. There’s opportunity for participants to speak to guest speakers and panelists.
Hope 4 Homes Conference and Resource Fair Schedule
9:00 –10:00 a.m. Check-in, Late Registration, Coffee & Pastries, (Chapel) Resource Fair Open for ‘Early Birds’
10:00 – 10:15 WELCOME – Marilyn Fischer –TASHS President, Acknowledgement of Indigenous Territory and sponsors, introduction of Resource Fair exhibitors and Moderator Frank Bucholtz
10:15 – 10:20 Greetings from PM Justin Trudeau: Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag – National Housing Strategy comment.
10:20– 10:50 Introduction of Keynote Speaker – Gail Chaddock-Costello, TASHS Vice-President : Iglika Ivanova, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives , “Seniors’ Worsening Economic Reality and the Affordable Housing Crisis”, Researcher/author: “Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors”
10:50 – 11:50 MORNING PANEL: “Meeting Langley’s Need – Plans, Policies and Partnerships”
Moderator: Frank Bucholtz – Participants: Patrick Ward, (Strategic/Social Planner), Township of Langley Community and Policy Planning Department ; Roy Beddow, Deputy Director of Development Services & Economic Development/Planning, City of Langley; Irene Gannitsos, Sr. Manager, Strategic Initiatives/Vancity Community Foundation; Diana Dilworth, Government Relations Manager, Housing Central, BC Non-Profit Housing Association
11:55 – 12:15 World Cafe’ style dialogue opportunity for conference participants to engage with keynote speaker, panel members, and representative council members from City and Township of Langley
12:00 – 1:00 AFTERNOON REGISTRATION
12:15 LUNCH in the Hall & RESOURCE FAIR EXHIBITS in the Chapel (or continue dialogue over lunch)
1:00 – 1:10 Greetings from Selena Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, BC Government : Naomi Brunemeyer, BC Housing Regional Director, Lower Mainland.
1:10– 1:30 “Why Having a Home Matters” – Gail Chaddock-Costello – Announcement of Essay Contest winners, award prizes.
1:30 – 2:10 AFTERNOON PANEL: “Meeting Langley’s Need: “Approved Projects – Affordable Housing
For Seniors”. Moderator: Frank Bucholtz, Participants: Naomi Brunemeyer, BC Housing Regional Director, Development, Lower Mainland; Principals of three local affordable housing projects with B.C. Housing financing: Pastor Kristen Steele, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church; Peter Fassbender, President, CLA Housing Society; Jeanette Dajenais, Executive Director, Lions Housing Society
2:10 – 2:25 Wellness Break – coffee/tea/snacks/washroom (may delete, close earlier)
2: 25 – 3:00 Following the Panel – display of housing projects for participants to view and ask questions
3:00 – 4:00 Conference Participant Feedback, Award Door Prizes, Closing Remarks.
RESOURCE FAIR EXHIBITORS:
The focus is on volunteer, low cost & subsidied supports and services to assist seniors to age in place in the community
- Coquitlam Men’s Shed (safe, friendly environment where men work together on meaningful projects to advance well-being and health),
- Langley Senior Resources Centre (Outreach),
- Peridot Accounting (info and assistance with CSIL/Community Supported Independent Living,Fraser Health)
- Profile Marble & Bath and Access-Able Home & Property Services (both offer info and help to access government grants for Home Adaptations for Independ- ence HAFI),
- Langley Community Services Society (Poverty Law Program), Home Sharing Survey
- Lower Mainland Manufactured Home Owners Association (advocating for park owners).
- Elder Dog (Dog Care Support for Seniors
- Langley Seniors Community Action Table
Information will be available re Senior Citizens’ Repair Service.