Advocate for Protections for Vulnerable Ontarians

December 5, 2017
Article Source
Ontario Project for Interclinic Community Organizing (OPICCO)

A Bill from Welland MPP Cindy Forster designed to protect vulnerable adults and seniors in Supportive Living Accommodations (SLAs) is stalled in the Ontario legislature.

Bill 135, the Protecting Vulnerable Persons in Supportive Living Accommodation Act, would put in place licensing rules for privately operated SLAs, as well as increased protections to prevent mistreatment of vulnerable high-risk adults and seniors living in this type of housing. Included among the safeguards proposed in Forster’s bill is a provision that would require housing providers to be provincially licensed in order to collect ODSP cheques and other types of support payments on a resident’s behalf.

SLAs provide low-rent accommodation to vulnerable tenants, and often provide additional care services. In many cases, SLAs serve as an effective response to affordable housing shortages across the province, catering to high-need adults who may not necessarily qualify for long-term care.

According to Ms. Forster though "the lack of regulation and oversight of these services have, in some cases, exposed tenants to substandard living conditions resulting in physical harm and, tragically, even death. In 2014, despite numerous charges and warnings from municipal fire officials, a 72-year-old man died after a SLA home caught fire in London, Ontario."

In Hamilton, members of the Coalition of Residential Care Facilities Tenants have contacted their five area MPP's asking them to support the bill.

The Coalition was pleased that Ted McMeekin MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and a member of the government supports the bill.

Read more: Advocate for Protections for Vulnerable Ontarians