Some of the buildings operated by the Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society (LLSCHS). Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Advocacy group pushes for more housing supports for ‘vulnerable’ seniors

LSCAT report outlines residents’ fears about ‘mixed tenancy’ at Lions Society housing

  • Oct. 12, 2018 2:30 p.m.

Miranda Fatur

Times Reporter

Some Langley seniors are being made to feel uncomfortable in their own homes, according to a recent report by the Langley Seniors Community Action Table.

Since January, LSCAT has been advocating on behalf of residents at the Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society, who say living alongside people with mental health and addictions issues is making them fearful.

LSCAT released a report on Oct. 3 outlining the residents’ concerns.

Members of the LSCAT, Leslie Gaudette and Kathy Reddington collected the data and co-authored the report with members of the LSCAT throughout the summer.

“As we delved into it more, we realized it’s as much a public health problem as a housing problem. We felt as Fraser Health places some tenants in the complex, they might have an interest in understanding better what the end result was.”

Gaudette presented the report titled, Impact of Housing First and Supportive Housing on Frail Seniors: Spotlight on a Langley Social Housing Complex, at the Fraser Health public board meeting on Oct. 3.

The report explains that the non-profit Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society complex has been co-housing Fraser Health’s supportive housing clients together with “vulnerable, frail, low-income seniors.”

In an email statement, Fraser Health communications Jacqueline Blackwell, outlined how many units are occupied by clients of Fraser Health at the Lions Housing.

“Fraser Health contracts 58 subsidized Assisted Living units in one of those buildings. The Fraser Health Acquired Brain Injury program also supports 29 clients on the campus. The program provides brain injury clients with daily on-site support. Since 2009, Fraser Health has supported up to 25 people with mental health and substance use issues with on-site support seven days a week.”

According to the LSCAT report, the clients Fraser Health places at the Lions Housing often create a ‘mixed tenancy’ housing model that results in seniors living in fear.

Gaudette and her team created a profile of the approximately 400 seniors living at the Lions Housing that revealed 41 per cent feel unsafe.

READ MORE: Seniors group looking for solution to issue of mentally ill in Langley housing project

This fear stems from alleged aggressive behaviours displayed by some Lions tenants who suffer mental health and substance abuse issues.

“What we feel is happening is that people who need a significant amount of support to be housed are ending up in the Lions. They’re not getting the support they need to live independently. Fraser Health is involved directly in some cases and indirectly in other cases. So you end up with a mix of people,” explained Gaudette.

Blackwell said Fraser Health clients who live with mental health and substance use challenges are “not unlike other people living in our communities who are successfully managing their illness.”

“We also perform rigorous risk assessments as part of a robust screening process to ensure that the people we support in these independent living units are not a risk to themselves or anyone else,” wrote Blackwell.

Gaudette made reference to one tenant who told her she has to peer out her door before taking the elevator to make sure no one is there that ‘she doesn’t want to deal with.’

“I’m in favour of Housing First. It’s really important to get people off the streets, it’s just how do you make sure you’re not creating problems somewhere else,” Gaudette said.

“We asked them (Fraser Health) to listen to the voices of the senior tenants, we asked that the board review the report and all the recommendations and we asked that they report back and provide solutions and recommendations to community partners. We asked them to take a population approach and ensure that a range of resources be available on site to improve the health and well being of this vulnerable population.”

Blackwell confirmed they have met with the LSCAT several times and are “committed to working with them and will be facilitating another opportunity for further discussion with all of the stakeholders.”

Fraser Health said if a concern was brought forward by a tenant, it would go through the Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society first.

Currently, Fraser Health said they have not received any specific complaints from the Lions Housing Society related to Fraser Health clients.

The Langley Lions Senior Citizens Housing Society did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Times.

Just Posted

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

Langley’s Wyatt twins make Pan Am team

Wyatts back home after completing freshman year at University of Memphis

VIDEO: Beer lovers tip a few for Langley Rotary Clubs

17th Annual Tip ‘n Taste at Cascades Casino serves up craft suds for local charities

Langley Mustang achieves personal best

Local track and field team earn 14 gold medals at successful Jesse Bent Memorial Meet

Former Langley school moved to new site for condo project

The old Murrayville Elementary’s core was shifted on its site

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read