Some P.E.I. seniors bypassed on housing wait list — without even knowing, AG says – Prince Edward Island

P.E.I.’s auditor general says not only are some seniors being bypassed on the wait list to get into government housing, but some may not even be aware they’re at the top of the list and keep being skipped over.

Jane MacAdam made the revelation in her 2017 report, released in March, that hundreds of seniors had been passed over on the prioritized list to get into one of the province’s 1,245 seniors apartments or to receive a rent subsidy for a private apartment.

At a recent meeting of the province’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts, MacAdam and her staff further clarified, at the insistence of MLA Sidney MacEwen, that those being passed over aren’t necessarily aware that’s happening.

MLA Sidney MacEwen says the P.E.I. government should have a policy to inform seniors when they’re bypassed on the wait list for affordable housing, and to try to provide direction or referral to deal with any underlying issues like addiction. (Alastair MacCormack/CBC News)

“There are a number of people … that don’t really have any idea that they’re being passed over every time,” MacEwen told the committee.

Some repeatedly passed over

“I’m trying to close that communication gap. For someone that doesn’t have an MLA going to bat for them — someone doesn’t have a brother or sister that are trying to get them in — do those people have an advocate for them, or are they just being passed over because they’re sitting at home, or wherever they’re at and not being realized they’re being passed over?” MacEwen continued.

In her 2017 report MacAdam noted certain seniors on the waiting list were being bypassed over and over again.

“We were advised these applicants have addiction issues, behaviour issues, and cleanliness issues,” she wrote in the report.

At the committee meeting, MacEwen said some of the reasons seniors were passed over sounded “somewhat discriminatory.”

New policy needed?

A member of the auditor general’s staff said the auditors were told that…

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