DSSAB awarded funding to support seniors

FORT FRANCES—The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board has learned it will have access to $600,000 in joint federal and provincial funding for a program designed to help keep seniors in their homes longer.
The Seniors Quality of Life Support Program (SQLSP) “would assist senior homeowner households with affordability problems so they may continue to occupy their homes, by providing financial assistance to repair or rehabilitate their dwellings to a minimum level of health and safety, including features that increase accessibility and address mobility concerns,” DSSAB wrote in a report to the province.
“We are very excited to begin work on this new initiative. This is a real asset to our district,” said DSSAB CEO Donna Dittaro.
The funding comes from the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, signed by the federal and provincial governments in April, 2005, agreeing to make $602 million available for affordable housing in Ontario.
Of that, $20 million was earmarked for the repair and renovation of 1,000 affordable housing units for low-income households in Northern Ontario.
The local DSSAB will be allocated $600,000 of that to upgrade at least 30 units.
“Unfortunately, we do not have assisted living or transitional housing available for our seniors and consequently, many have no choice but to enter a long-term care facility,” Dittaro noted.
“Hopefully, this program will allow them to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible,” she added.
Applicants will have to meet a number of requirements in order to be qualify for assistance, though.
For example, they must have an income below the 60th percentile income ceiling as set by the province, the household must be substandard and deficient, and must be at or below the average market selling price as determined by the CMHC.
As well, the cost of the repair must represent a burden to the homeowner.
DSSAB will begin advertising the program in the near future.