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Nanaimo Family Life Association launches new service to help connect seniors with housing

SHINE program offers information and advice to seniors trying to find affordable housing

Nanaimo Family Life Association is shining light, so to speak, on questions about housing for seniors.

The association has launched SHINE, the Seniors Housing Information and Navigation Ease program, to address the vulnerability of local seniors by providing information and advice intended to help seniors in their search for housing.

According to a press release by Nanaimo Family Life Association, Canadian seniors experience multiple barriers to accessing age-appropriate housing. The population is aging, large numbers of seniors are on fixed incomes and the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for housing, food security and mental health programs, but seniors continue to experience systemic barriers to long-term housing that is secure, affordable and adaptive to changing physical needs.

The association says the challenges of the rental market combined with low wages and pensions means many seniors pay more than 70 per cent of their monthly income for housing.

The SHINE program doesn’t directly provide housing, but aims to give seniors support for navigating housing agencies, such as B.C. Housing, advice on the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act, eligibility for federal and provincial housing supports and referrals to other seniors programs.

“Every senior deserves peace of mind when it comes to housing,” said Kirsten Brooker, senior’s housing navigator, in the press release. “Accessible and affordable housing is the No. 1 priority for many of our vulnerable seniors. The SHINE program … will actively work to secure, maintain and advocate for appropriate housing for all our clients.”

SHINE is being delivered in partnership with the Seniors Support Services Societ. To learn more, visit http://nflabc.org or call the Nanaimo Family Life Association office at 250-754-3331.

READ ALSO: Society asks for volunteers to help make Nanaimo more age-friendly



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