WHEREAS the cost for operating senior lodges has risen dramatically in the last few years, and
WHEREAS the deficits of these lodges is being funded by our municipal ratepayers, and
WHEREAS the present formulas to determine rent payments are inefficient and are unable to calculate a fair rent for each resident;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Province of Alberta and Alberta Seniors and Community Supports to review the formulas that determine rents for our senior’s lodges, with an emphasis on a complete financial assessment of the lodge residents to determine their ability to pay.
With the limited abilities of our seniors’ foundations to increase rent rates, and with rapidly increasing costs to run these facilities, this has put a large burden on our rural municipalities to fund our senior lodges.
In our area alone, Cardston County pays 58 per cent of the total requisition for our seniors’ lodges. With the limited ability to collect increased rents from the residents that can afford it, this has put a significant burden on our ratepayers in the form of increasing requisitions that are applied to their tax notices.
By reviewing the rate formulas and allowing the foundations to consider, not only the senior’s income, but also the assets that they hold. This will allow the proper rents to be charged to those who truly can afford to pay higher rents.
With our changing demographics and our aging population, we need the ability to re-coup costs so that it doesn’t become an even greater burden to our municipalities.
Resolution 2-10S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Government of Alberta amend the Alberta Capital Finance Authority Act to add Seniors’ Housing Authorities as shareholders of the Alberta Capital Finance Authority.
Resolution 5-09F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta and Alberta Health and Wellness to maintain auxiliary extended care beds, assisted and designated assisted care living beds, within their communities so seniors can feel secure and comfortable and receive proper and compassionate health care, as well as maintaining a connection with their family, friends, and home Communities.
Resolution 7-08F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta to increase the funding allocated to Seniors Foundations to attempt to keep pace with the rising costs of inflation.
Resolution 7-08S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta to assume the responsibility of funding capital and review operating costs for seniors facilities.
Seniors and Community Supports:
Lodge operators have the authority under the Alberta Housing Act to determine lodge accommodation rates with the condition that each resident is left with at least $265 per month to cover incidental costs. To assist in keeping lodge rates as low as possible, Seniors and Community Supports provides lodge assistance grants to lodge operators.
On December 15, 2010, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports announced an increase to the Lodge Assistance Program per diem by $0.50 to $8.75, as well as a $0.20 increase for the Special Services per diem to $3.70 effective February 1, 2011. This will bring the total provincial contribution for lodges to over $30 million in 2010-2011.
In addition, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports will be providing a one-time maintenance grant of $300 per unit to all seniors lodge operators receiving the Lodge Assistance Program (LAP) grant. This funding is being provided to assist management bodies to address repairs and upgrading for the comfort and safety of lodge residents. The total amount of these grants will be approximately $3 million, and are in addition to the increase in LAP grants that were effective February 1, 2011. Management bodies will be receiving this additional funding by the end of February.
The Government of Alberta will continue to monitor the costs of accommodation and related services and will make adjustments based on need within available resources.
In a subsequent June 2011 letter, it was noted that the government will not be looking at asset testing.
Together with the Municipal Affairs, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, and the Alberta Senior Citizen’s Housing Association a comprehensive review of seniors lodges is taking place. Recommendations from this committee will be sent to the Minister before the end of 2013. This review will include how rents for lodges are determined and the AAMDC will bring this position forward during the review. In lieu of the government’s willingness to review this issue, this resolution is considered Accepted in Principle.