Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

LETTER: Cost pushing seniors to the brink of homelessness

Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows councils need to do more to ensure affordable housing for older residents

Dear Editor,

I am glad that you have decided that most Ridge residents are satisfied.

[RE: Homelessness and poverty detracting from quality of life in Maple Ridge, Jan. 27, The News]

I do not think the survey you conducted took into account all the seniors whom are now and the past few years having to relocate due to urban sprawl and loss of affordable housing.

Mr. [Michael] Morden, not all of us babyboomers/now seniors were lucky enough to inherit their family home/property and or a monitory inheritance.

I am a 68-year-old, semi-disabled senior who has contributed to this community the past 20 years only to realize when you turn 65 you are basically swept under the rug.

Out of sight, out of mind.

I am not blaming this city council, because our provincial and federal government also have turned a blind eye to seniors needs.

Privatized assisted living has only escalated costs as well.

ANOTHER LETTER: CP’s history in Pitt Meadows does not bode well for the future

The recent COVID deaths in these homes has proven that. The cost of living goes up 10 per cent a year whereas income about one per cent.

Everyday, I see a rezoning or house-for-sale sign go up…

Personally, I’ve had to move three times in the past two years. I also had to live in my van at friends’ places just so I could afford the first and last months increase in rents.

Unless you can afford $3,000 a month to reside at a private seniors citizen complex (which I would not even if I could your pretty much out of luck staying in Maple Ridge.

UNRELATED LETTER: Climate crisis needs attention now

We have only one place, called Maple Towers, that accommodates seniors whom survive on a basic seniors pension and can still live on their own.

My name has been on that list for more than four years, as well on the BC Housing registry.

A couple years ago there was a proposal in this city council for all new complexes to allow for 10 per cent of the complex to be designated affordable housing. Council decided to wave that option in favour of a monitory kickback to build rec centres, sports fields, strip malls, etc.

A proposed affordable seniors complex was being built a couple of years ago. It was turned over to house the homeless to dismantle the homeless camp. Nothing has been put in place to replace it.

I can empathize with the homeless. I’ve been there myself.

However, 60 per cent of those people in the homeless camp were not even Maple Ridge residents.

Many of them migrated from other parts of the Lower Mainland as soon as the word got out there was going to be free housing.

Homelessness is not going to go away.

Don’t be surprised that the next homeless camp set up will be seniors who have been squeezed out due to the high costs of suitable housing.

Seniors don’t really require much, many of us can live and be happy in a 300-square-foot studio apartment. That’s not much to ask, considering the years we contributed to this community.

I am not against the city trying to create revenue. However, let’s not forget the people who dedicated their lives and paid taxes to help build what Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are today.

I truly hope that this and Pitt Meadows city council take a sincere good hard look and work with our provincial and federal counterparts to rectify the needs of the seniors who are being displaced and one step before becoming homeless themselves.

We would love to be able to stay in our hometown.

R.J. Resek, Maple Ridge

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