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The ministry will maintain valuable programs that Alberta’s seniors rely on, such as financial support and programs that help seniors pay for home repairs. The ministry will also continue to invest in affordable housing units across the province for seniors and low-income people.
Alberta has the lowest poverty rate among seniors in Canada, thanks in part to the province’s benefits and supports available for seniors with low income. These programs currently support 166,000 seniors across the province.
The ministry’s operating expense budget for 2019-20 will be $638 million (total operating minus capital grants, amortization and debt servicing). It will rise to $639 million in 2021-23 – an increase of 1.4 per cent, or $9 million, compared to 2018-19.
While government gets its fiscal house in order, it is maintaining seniors financial supports at current levels, ensuring the most vulnerable seniors can count on a stable source of income.
Budget 2019 is a balanced plan to create jobs, grow the economy and protect front-line services and supports for the most vulnerable. Government will continue assessing ways to best support Albertans most in need.
“We promised to maintain seniors benefits, and I am proud that Budget 2019 delivers on that promise. Despite the challenging economic climate, our government is committed to protecting vital services. Our budget helps those most in need of seniors financial assistance, affordable seniors housing and other supports.”
Budget 2019 highlights for seniors
- Maintaining seniors benefits, including the Alberta Seniors Benefit and Supplementary Accommodation Benefit.
- Alberta Seniors Benefit budget is $309.9 million (2.9 per cent increase due to caseload).
- Maintaining two home-equity loan programs – the Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) and the Seniors Property Tax Deferral program.
- The SHARP loans budget was maintained at $11.5 million. The SHARP grant budget is $1 million to reflect the demand for this program.
- The Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program loans budget was maintained at $8.2 million.
- Investing in new and regenerated affordable housing units for seniors.
- Special Needs Assistance for Seniors budget is $26.3 million (4.8 per cent increase due to caseload).