Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Low Rent Housing For Seniors

August 20, 2013

Michael asks…

How fair do you think this method of rental fee in a seniors complex?

Every year, rent increases a certain percentage; but for some residents, the fee is frozen at their current rent because of income status. The people who have income above a certain level continue to pay the yearly rent increase whether they are right over the threshold or are millionaires. As a result, residents can pay up to several hundreds of dollars more for the same-sized unit as one of their neighbors who has been there the same number of years.

How do you feel about this sliding scale set-up.

Administrator answers:

It certainly doesn’t seem fair but there are some possibilities that might make a senior stay somewhere that automatically raises the rent. I’m sitting here trying to think of why I would continue to pay the increases if there were no incentives,like access to the pool or tennis courts or whatever they have available. I’m having trouble picturing low income seniors living in the same complex as millionaires. Basically I think I’d find another place to live or contact the fair housing people.

John asks…

How much you pay for Home Insurance, i want to rent a flat from Agency and they asking for Insurance?

Hi, please tell me how much do i have to pay monthly for 1 bed flat , i want to rent it from Agency and they asking for insurance certificate?
Can i rent it without this?
IT is in UK, Bournemouth, but i wonder what is average price for it? 100 , 10 , 1000 pounds per month?:)

Administrator answers:

I would go to an insurance agent and ask.
The amount will vary, depending on what the landlord requires.
Shop around for the best rates.
If there is a Grange near you check them out. They handle insurance for several companies and will find you the best rates.
If you are a senior check with AARP. They also can find the lowest rates.

If the rental agency requires insurance, it’s unlikely they will rent to you without it.
My home insurance runs about $270 per year for my house, a single family dwelling. But the insurance is based on the value of your home. A rental unit should be a lot less as you should only insure your personal belongings. If they want you to cover their property for fire and other hazzards, look for another rental unit.

Mark asks…

My question is about low income housing in Montreal,southshore and Laval. Is it clean and safe?

Very simply.would you recommend it for seniors or anyone for that matter?

Administrator answers:

Montreal is a city of about 4 million people (if you include the greater Montreal area), so there are bound to be places that are better or worse for living. In 2006, about 14% of the population of Montreal was over the age of 65. These numbers are taken from Statistics Canada. Would I recommend living in Montreal as a senior? I would say why not? If you can speak at least a little French, I would consider it.

The subway system here is safe, clean, and reliable. There are a lot of steps to go down, but I think that most if not all of the Metro stations have escalators to use, and a few have introduced elevators for people who are in wheelchairs or can’t handle the steps. Bus service has very good coverage all over the city. And there are trains that will get you in from the suburbs, including Laval, west island, north and south shore.

There are several good hospitals in various parts of the city. Sacre-Coeur in Cartierville is highly recommended for its cardiac care, Jewish General has excellent rating in Snowdon area, and Royal Victoria is centrally located downtown. They are present constructing the Montreal superhospital which will be a state of the art facility that many of the existing hospitals here in Montreal will move into, vacating various buildings that are 200+ years old and that no longer meet the high health and safety standards for their patients.

You are looking for low income housing in Montreal. For that, I can’t tell you much. I know that the City of Montreal operates a series of buildings that are rent-controlled or set up for affordable housing. Some are for seniors now on pensions, some are for welfare recipients. As long as you get into a housing complex that caters to seniors rather than a run-down welfare slum, I don’t see a problem.

So what drawbacks or disadvantages might you have?

I mentioned the French aspect of Montreal. Living in the province of Quebec, you have to expect the people you deal with will speak French, and you will want to have at least basic knowledge in the language. One problem I have seen first-hand is that when trying to obtain services in English, it can be a problem in some cases. For example, the staff at the emergency ward of the small hospital in my part of town were unable to speak conversational English to patients on at least two occasions when I was present there. Provincial government offices had the same issue, so applying for affordable housing or other services might be tricky if your French skills are not up to par.

Another issue with Montreal is the infrastructure. Much of the city’s roads, sidewalks, bridges and overpasses have suffered too much neglect over the past 20-40 years, and that is now coming back to haunt us. There are many road and bridge closures now, as sinkholes develop, or corrosion weakens the metal rebar in the cement. There are annual geysers that occur as a water main breaks in the spring thaw and floods basement apartments nearby. Several sidewalks contain dangerous cracks or spots where a person not paying attention can twist an ankle or fall and hurt themselves.

Crime is not usually a big issue, but that depends on your neighbourhood. Some parts of town are more prone to gang activity than they were ten years ago, and if you are an elderly person travelling after dark. There have been a few cases of purse snatching and muggings to the elderly, but they are not commonplace, and I don’t think our seniors are targeted any more so than another demographic.

If on a budget, I would look for housing in the following areas: Verdun, Lasalle, NDG, Saint Laurent, or Outremont.

These areas are also good (a more suburban setting), although not near a subway system, so you would need to rely on buses if you needed to get downtown: Roxboro, Pierrefonds, DDO, Dorval, Pointe-Claire.

These areas I would avoid as a senior: Cartierville, Ahuntsic, Saint-Michel, Montreal North, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

If choosing something off-island, I would look at (south shore) Saint Lambert, Longeuil, or Greenfield Park, and (north shore) St. Eustache, Rosemere, St. Therese. These places are communities that have pretty good services for seniors in the area, and are close to trains or buses that can get you in to Montreal.

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