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Money More than 15% of Metro Vancouver seniors live in poverty, with singles hit hardest: report

11:31  13 june  2018
11:31  13 june  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Our seniors lead healthy lifestyles • Metro Vancouver seniors exercise more than the average Canadian senior , with more than half (53 Seniors living alone 27% of our seniors 65 and over live alone 2006 [ More ]. Poverty 19% of our seniors live in poverty – up 3% from 2000 2007 [ More ].

Seniors living well. United Way has been supporting services for seniors in the Metro Vancouver /Sea to Sky area for decades. For example, with one in five seniors living in poverty – and with seniors soon to outnumber children in many of our communities – we face a growing risk of senior

a flock of birds sitting on a bench: The rate of poverty for B.C. seniors has increased for the third year in a row.© Rob Elliott/AFP/Getty Images The rate of poverty for B.C. seniors has increased for the third year in a row.

British Columbia has the highest rate of poverty among seniors in Canada, according to the latest B.C. Seniors Poverty Report Card — and that number has increased for the third year in a row.

The report , released on Tuesday, shows that rates of poverty for those 65 and older in Metro Vancouver — especially in Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver — are particularly high, at more than 15 per cent.

"These are cities that are reporting rates that are well above the provincial rates, in some cases more than double," said Scott Graham, associate executive director of the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.

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British Columbians living alone tend to have a much higher rate of poverty than those living with a spouse or other relatives. Wait-lists for social housing. Slightly more than one-third of households in Metro Vancouver were renters in 2011. Of these, 15 per cent rented specifically within the social

The City of Vancouver ’s poverty rate is higher than most similarly sized cities in Canada, and higher than the Metro Vancouver region. About 44% of people in Vancouver , or more than 250,000 live in families with incomes less than the living wage.10 The graph at right estimates the percentage of

The findings come as the provincial government puts together a plan to fight poverty with legislative changes and a poverty reduction strategy .

"It's timely to put a bit of light on some of the challenges that too many seniors face in terms of making ends meet," Graham told Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition .

The study uses financial information reported on taxes to measure low income and data from Statistics Canada in 2015.

It found that single seniors are particularly hard hit and more than three times as likely to be poor than seniors in a relationship.

"When you don't have combined income, it's more difficult to afford the rising costs of living in this part of the world," Graham said.

a screenshot of a map: The numbers of homeless older adults and seniors has spiked in the past decade.© Metro Vancouver 2017 Homeless Count/B.C. Seniors Poverty Report Card The numbers of homeless older adults and seniors has spiked in the past decade.

Housing and homelessness

Housing is also a key issue in the findings.

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Although that report focused on Metro Vancouver , it found that working poverty exists elsewhere in BC as well. Food is a significant part of low-income family budgets, which means that growing food prices hit these families much harder than other British Columbians.

In Metro Vancouver , single parents are the most likely to experience working poverty , followed closely by individuals living alone. A recent Statistics Canada study shows that the poverty rate among Vancouver immigrants who have been in Canada for fewer than 15 years continues to be

Almost one in five B.C. seniors are living in unaffordable housing, meaning they are spending more than 30 per cent of their before-tax household incomes on accommodation costs.

In total, almost 6,000 seniors are on the B.C. Housing Housing Registry, waiting for a spot to open in non-market housing such as social housing and co-operative housing.

At the same time, there has been a spike in homelessness among seniors.

There were 123 homeless seniors and 395 people without homes between the ages of 55 and 64 in B.C. at last year's count — more than double what it had been a decade ago.

"At its core, this is a really sad topic," Graham. "A measure of a just society is the degree to which we care for those that are aged."

With files from The Early Edition

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