The Role of Supportive Housing for Low-Income Seniors in Ontario

Low-income seniors’ ability to age at home, with supports available to accommodate their changing needs, is an issue of critical importance to all Canadians. This research investigates housing and care options for low-income seniors in Ontario, a population at higher risk of poor health outcomes as they age. The study investigates a continuum model that integrates social housing, health care and community supports through comprehensive and flexible programs. The report focuses on supportive housing for low-income seniors who can no longer function entirely independently due to declining health. The research draws on current literature including gerontology, housing and health related studies, to examine the benefits and costs of “aging in place” for low-income seniors. Ontario’s health and housing policy contexts highlight challenges to integrated supportive housing provision for seniors. The research draws on three case examples of seniors’ supportive housing in Ontario in rural and mid-size regions. Seniors’ supportive housing programs in British Columbia provide a provincial example of seniors’ support services and social housing integration. Policy recommendations are offered based on lessons learned from current literature, case studies and interviews with key informants.

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