19.4.2 IMPROVING ACCESS OF HOMELESS WOMEN SENIORS TO APPROPRIATE HOUSING AND HEALTH CARE

WHEREAS The National Pensioners Federation is concerned about the increasing numbers of low-income seniors with chronic health conditions who become homeless and who are being discharged from hospital into a homeless shelter or to sleep on the street;

WHEREAS These seniors are increasingly female, diverse, and living in deep poverty without any social network to fall back on;

WHEREAS Rampant speculation in housing has resulted in the loss of much low cost rental housing that senior women, often dependent on OAS and GIS, can afford;

WHEREAS Senior women are almost twice as likely as men to be living in poverty and three times as likely as men to live alone, both highly predictive of future homelessness;

WHEREAS Senior women, once the hidden homeless, have become an increasingly visible proportion of vulnerable seniors being discharged from hospital onto the street or to a homeless shelter where there is no health care provision and where they are not permitted to stay for very long;

WHEREAS There is a serious shortage of shelters, transitional housing, or low-income housing for older single women.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED That NPF request that federal, provincial and territorial health, housing and social affairs ministers work to ensure that national standards are put in place that will ensure senior womens’ health and safety and well-being and end all seniors’ homelessness.

Submitted by NPF Health Committee & NPF Executive Committee