Triple A volunteers tackling seniors housing

Volunteers are working to ensure that seniors have a range of options to meet their housing needs.

Affordable, accessible and appropriate – is that too much to ask for seniors’ housing?

That’s what a two-day workshop on senior housing will address.

Housing for older adults today and into the future is vital for the community.

Triple A Senior Housing is a group of senior volunteers who embrace a “planning with seniors, not for seniors” philosophy to ensure that current and future senior housing in the Langleys will include a range of options.

The seniors population in Langley is projected to increase by 62 per cent by 2021.

And more than 90 per cent of seniors want to stay in their own homes and community for the rest of their lives.

Research done by Triple A Senior Housing highlights why a Senior Housing Summit is necessary.

Approximately one in five seniors in Langley City live in poverty, and seniors are the largest growing segment of Langley’s homeless.

How will the City and Township respond to the estimated need for 6,228 additional affordable housing units by 2021?

At the summit, there will be speakers, discussions, and displays about many housing options. The summit starts at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 and goes until 3 p.m.

It then continues from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26.

It’s intended to bring together stakeholders in seniors housing, including older adults, nearly seniors, family, and caregivers; government leaders and civic staff, community service agencies (staff and volunteers), senior housing providers, developers and builders, and representatives of financial institutions.

The Summit features keynote speaker Noha Sedkey, CitySpaces’ lead consultant for the Age Friendly Strategy which was passed unanimously by the Township of Langley on Sept. 8 on the recommendation of the Senior Advisory Committee.

The two-day summit also features speaker Lorraine Copas of SPARC BC, panels on affordable, accessible and appropriate senior housing, including life lease and manufactured home park options, culminating with inspiring stories and examples of recently developed senior housing projects in nearby communities.

Those attending will also have an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas.

The summit is the latest component of this community-based initiative.

Triple A (Affordable, Accessible, Appropriate) Senior Housing formed in June 2013 through the partnering of members of Chapter 48 CARP (formerly Canadian Association of Retired Persons), Langley Seniors Community Action Table, and Langley Senior Resources Society.

The Working Group and Task Groups are comprised mainly of older adults in the community, including members of the partner organizations named above, and represent a broad coalition of grassroots stakeholders.

In November 2013, a workshop was held to generate discussion around seniors’ housing concerns.

The Sept. 25/26 summit goals include:

• Raising awareness through public education and civic and community participation in learning about needs and options for local senior housing.

• Advocating for public policy changes at all levels of government to facilitate the retention and development of senior housing and for senior housing solutions in the construction/renovation industry.

• Promoting action through non-partisan community and civic involvement to engage local and senior levels of government in dialogue devoted to meeting the growing need for more affordable, accessible, and appropriate housing for seniors.

The cost to attend is $60. The 55+ rate is $20. The event includes lunch on Sept. 25 and refreshments both days. The formal registration deadline was Sept. 15 to allow for planning, but people can still sign up ASAP. Call 778-878-5369.

The summit is at Newlands Golf Course, 21025 48th Ave.

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