Open letter to Housing Minister Scott Kent:
We would like to thank you for some of the new senior housing regulations, but it seems once again that some of us are unwanted.
If a senior applies for senior housing before cashing in assets, RRSPs, investments, mutual funds, etc., the new regulations are no problem because once accepted into senior housing a person’s yearly income can increase without consequence. However, if a senior citizen applies for housing after having received some payouts or cashing in some assets, that person is in big trouble!
Many middle class Canadians hold most of their nest-egg money in RRSPs. RRSPs are individual savings, not pensions. RRSPs are savings intended to provide for comfort, trips, emergencies, and especially maintaining our property. The latter has increased exponentially in the city of Whitehorse during the last decade. Taxes, food, electricity, utilities, etc., have skyrocketed in the Yukon as governments on all three levels squander millions on traffic circles, expensive buildings and pet projects; meanwhile, the tax base seems to be calculated on the bloated incomes of government employees. Senior citizens are retired on fixed incomes that have not increased.
To my knowledge, senior citizens were not informed that once we transfer money in a RRIF we would be penalized: no supplement, YSIS, etc., and now no senior housing until our private funds dry up.
So please explain why it is OK to have RRSP assets before application but not after RRIF payout? Of course, for taxation purposes it becomes income (higher tax revenues) but this is our savings, not a pension. Individual savings should not be a burden, but a credit to that person and an asset!
Concerning the maximum yearly income: why is it that for a single person it is set at $40,500 but for a couple it is set at only $44,500? This favours singles and insults couples. Should we all get divorced?
Maybe couples should apply individually to nullify the yearly total income “problem.” Then we could all be on your waiting list.
Please, Mr. Kent, try to treat all of us fairly as per our needs: such as childless, no family members, age, years of residency, etc. Do not look or consider only the yearly total income when making decisions. We are individuals, not cattle. Do not forget “unwanted seniors” who still don’t know where we belong because a regulation comes in and oops, we’re out!
Let us follow the provinces and provide a senior complex (65+) at market rent just for us, the unwanted seniors. We also wish to be worry free and to enjoy our last days of life.
Melanie Kennedy, Whitehorse