Marilyn Fischer, president of TASH, is organizing a September housing forum in Langley. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Forum to tackle seniors housing crisis in Langley

Local group TASH wants to expand the options for low-income elders

Langley’s Triple A Senior Housing Society (TASH) is re-introducing itself to the community as the need for affordable housing keeps rising.

Group president Marilyn Fischer is organizing a HOPE4HOMES mini-conference and resource fair to be held on Sept. 7 in Murrayville.

It’s part of efforts to revive and rebuilt TASH in response to the ongoing crisis of housing, particularly for low-income seniors.

“We know the need for really low-income housing,” she said.

“There are people who are one crisis, one expensive medication from not being able to pay their rent,” said Fischer.

Supportive housing for seniors is a missing element in the housing mix in Langley, Fischer said.

A TASH report in 2014 found a high percentage of seniors’ income going to housing.

“And things have only gotten worse,” she said.

The group is looking to bring together resources and people, and to talk about concepts such as shared housing, accessible designs for living in place, co-care, and other supportive options.

Sharing housing and co-care could mean multiple seniors living as roommates and sharing their resources to reduce expenses, or it could mean home sharing between seniors and younger people who also need cheaper housing options, Fischer said.

“This is another source of affordable housing in the community,” she said.

The resource fair element of the upcoming event will look at cheap, subsidized, and voluntary services, Fischer said.

Too often she’s seen events offering things such as handyman services that cost $75 an hour. That’s far too much for many seniors on a fixed income, she noted.

Instead she hopes to bring in groups that offer lower-cost alternatives, and offer information on things such as the Home Adaptations for Independence (HAAFI) grant program that can help seniors with the cost of installing items such as shower bars.

The HOPE4HOMES event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. at the United Churches of Langley at Murrayville’s Five Corners.

Learn more at tripleaseniorhousinglangley.ca.

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