WHEREAS Seniors’ Foundations are public institutions, publicly funded and created for the public benefit; and
WHEREAS Section 7(1) of the Alberta Housing Act provides Seniors’ Foundations with the authority to requisition municipalities, for which the Foundation provides lodge accommodations, the amount of the Foundation’s annual deficit; and
WHEREAS the Provincial Government does not plan to increase lodge operating grants in the near future; and
WHEREAS Municipalities have become financially overtaxed through the provision of funding for the construction of Senior’s Facilities; and
WHEREAS Foundations are being forced to implement annual rate increases in order to adequately address both borrowing and operational costs thereby making some accommodations unaffordable for seniors in our Communities; and
WHEREAS the cost requirement for Seniors Facilities continues to grow, with the additional costs being borne by municipalities;
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.
Financial support is required at the provincial level. In the past financial support for Foundations was the sole responsibility of the province, however, in recent years this same responsibility has now been transferred almost entirely to municipalities. In order to accommodate current and future seniors’ requirements, it is essential that the Province move forward and accept responsibility for these operations. Additional financial support for lodge increases due to operational and capital cost increases will be required for Alberta seniors to allow them to obtain the accommodation they require in seniors’ facilities.
Resolution 15-08S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC lobby the Provincial Government to create and hire personnel to act in a Seniors Advocacy role, in collaboration and potential partnership with local Family & Community Support Services programs, to assist our seniors in their daily lives.
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.
Resolution 4-07F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) lobby the Provincial Government to amend the assistance program for Alberta’s Seniors to provide increased funding to offset the rapidly increasing costs of property taxes and rent on Seniors’ property and rental accommodations in order to keep as many seniors as possible in their own homes and to lessen the burden on Seniors’ Housing facilities, now and in the future.
Resolution 1-07S: 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 31-05F:THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to amend Section 7(2) of the Alberta Housing Act to change the basis of determination for municipal requisitions to a percentage-based system with 50% determined by population and 50% determined by equalized assessment.
Housing and Urban Affairs:
Housing and Urban Affairs provides affordable housing for seniors through the seniors self-contained housing portfolio, managed on behalf of the province by local management bodies, including foundations. This portfolio offers affordable, self contained housing to seniors at rental rates based on 30 per cent of their household income. The entire operating deficit of this portfolio is funded by Housing and Urban Affairs in partnership with the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Municipalities do not contribute funding for seniors self-contained housing.
Housing and Urban Affairs also provides advisory services to management bodies and Seniors and Community Supports for the seniors lodge portfolio. Seniors and Community Supports is responsible for the administration and funding of this portfolio. Lodge facilities are assisted through a lodge assistance grant paid by Seniors and Community Supports.
Seniors and Community Supports:
Alberta Seniors and Community Supports provides the Lodge Assistance Program (LAP) grant to foundations to assist with operating costs and to help keep costs down for their contributing municipalities. LAP has increased by 72 per cent from $4.80 in 2003, to the current rate of $8.25 per resident per day. The Special Services Grant, introduced to recognize the additional accommodation costs foundations incur supporting lodge residents with higher health and personal care needs, adds an additional $3.50 per eligible resident per day. The LAP budget for 2008/09 is $32.1 million.
Alberta Seniors and Community Supports also administers the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI), which provides capital funding to assist with the development of affordable supportive living units across the province. The 2008/09 provincial budget contained $78 million for ASLI and budget targets for 2009/10 and 2010/11 include additional funding to continue the program.
In addition, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports administers the Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB) program, which provides a monthly cash benefit to low-income seniors to assist with daily living expenses. Seniors eligible for ASB may also apply to the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors Program. This program provides up to $5,000 each benefit year toward one-time or extraordinary expenses, including some medical expenses.
Budget 2011 included increases in various programs including the Lodge Assistance Program (0.8 percent), Affordable Supportive Living Initiative and the Alberta Seniors’ Benefit (2.4 percent). Funding shortfalls for daily operations continue to fall to the municipality to fund. Since 1999, the province has invested over $500 million in provincial capital funding to help build and modernize more than 10,000 affordable supportive living spaces and lodge units across the province. About 6,000 of these have been completed. The AAMDC accepts in principle the efforts made to meet the intent of this resolution in times of fiscal restraint.