B.C. seniors deferring property taxes is on the rise!

Seniors poverty

The cost of housing is hitting seniors hard as the rate of those using property tax deferral has skyrocketd, while the reliance on rent subsidies for seniors is growing too fast.

In 2017/18 property tax deferral by seniors has risen 53% since 2013/14, with a 21% increase in the last year alone. In 2017/18, there were a total of 57,305 seniors deferring their property taxes, of which 13,179 were new users of the program.

Total deferrals in 2017/18 are $208,868,338.

At the same time, rent subsidies through the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) continues to grow beyond the rate of the target population.

There was a 7% increase in the number of SAFER recipients, with 22,956 seniors receiving the supplement and a 34% increase in the aggregate amount paid for a total of $71 million on SAFER subsidies paid.

The cost of housing appears to be affecting seniors as the number deferring their property taxes has grown exponentially. Also, SAFER data show that seniors who rent are having a more difficult time as more are claiming the SAFER grant and they are receiving a higher subsidy. It's pretty clear that the gap between income and rent is growing.

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