Housing Navigation Success: Oswald’s Story

Oswald** is a healthy and happy 92-year-old older adult. Now and then, he drops by the office to greet staff and express his gratitude for helping him find a suitable home. Oswald resides at a gated senior complex for 65+ since September of 2022. He has made friends, engages with others in the complex, and is actively involved in the community. Why?

Because housing navigation works.

In the summer of 2022, Oswald discovered that his landlord was selling his home. Oswald had already been considering leaving the basement suite because it was too cold and damp in the winter, which impacted his arthritic joints. He knew it would be difficult to find a new home. But he did not realize how complicated it would be to navigate Vancouver’s vast housing resources—especially for older adults who need housing that meets their health needs.

Oswald approached SSSBC in the summer of 2022, expressing his growing concerns about changing his housing and potentially being at risk for homelessness. He was immediately connected with a Housing Navigator who assessed his housing situation, health, and finances to determine an appropriate course of action. Most importantly, the Navigator advocated ensuring that Oswald was placed high on the waitlist for housing.

After compiling the paperwork, our Navigator submitted the rental application with a reference letter to a vacant senior apartment. SSSBC followed up by phone to advocate on behalf of Oswald, and the potential landlord admired his genial personality and understood his need to move as soon as possible.

Within two months, Oswald was called in for an interview and offered an apartment. One month later, he moved in with the help of his children.

SSSBC loves hearing from Oswald. A few months after his move, he expressed that he “loves his new home” and continues to thrive in his new community.

The waitlist for seniors’ social housing has grown faster and now represents more (37%) than any other group on the BC Housing Registry. (BC Housing, 2019).  To support seniors like Oswald, please consider a generous gift to our Housing Programs today. www.sssbc/donate.


**This story and photo were published with express permission from the SSSBC client.**