Lived experience and literature review provide data
Key research questions for this project included:
- What is the lived experience of eviction for seniors in Canada?
- How are older tenants responding when they receive eviction notices?
- What are the effects of eviction on senior tenants?
- What further measures can be introduced to support senior tenants at risk of, or experiencing, eviction?
To answer these questions, we commissioned a research team from the Institute of Urban Studies (IUS), University of Winnipeg. We asked them to:
- undertake a literature review
- develop a framework that advances a life course perspective on eviction
- conduct interviews with housing professionals and seniors with lived experience of eviction
Health, affordability and market-related factors can result in eviction
Older tenants are faced with eviction for many of the same reasons as younger tenants. These include:
- Affordability challenges: These are a primary driver of eviction for senior tenants. Other life events, such as the death of a partner and reduction in household income, can be related drivers.
- Health factors: Physical decline and failing health were cited by participants as another set of drivers of eviction for older adults. This can take expression in difficulties physically maintaining a unit to a certain standard. Cognitive health issues were also cited as potential contributors.
- Market-related factors and landlord factors: Included here are development-led evictions, such as own-use, reno- and demovictions, to which longer-standing tenants in older buildings can be vulnerable. Also, attempts at informal eviction (like shutting off utilities, bullying, etc.) were cited by some participants as part of their experience as an older tenant.
Recommendations include that senior-focused prevention measures are necessary, as well as other tenant supports.
There are limited senior-specific supports, services and housing options for those experiencing eviction.
Specific examples of senior-focused eviction prevention measures include:
- financial assistance for older tenants who rent
- apartment cleaning services
- supports and funding for health issues that can contribute to an eviction
- on-site tenant support workers, to provide ongoing senior-focused supports
- landlord training and education
- older tenant legal education
The need for senior-specific supports during an eviction was also highlighted. Examples, include:
- assistance with the search for housing
- support for the residential move (financial and non-financial)
- assistance with possession storage and relocation
- support for the psychological impacts of eviction and trauma of being forced to move
There is need for more housing for older adults that is affordable, suitable, and accessible. Related to this is a need for more senior-focused shelters and transition homes.
For more information, download the full report (PDF).
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