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Retirement Housing Options for Low Income Seniors

Housing needs change drastically for people as they age. Whether the upkeep of your primary home becomes too much work, or you require assistance doing certain tasks, there are affordable housing options available to low-income seniors hoping to retire. That said, the average cost of most bachelor apartments or private rooms in seniors’ residences in Canada (including a minimum of one meal) averages $2,210 per month. For individuals without savings that rely on government pension payments, this may be an impossible number to pay. Thankfully, there are other options. Below, we have outlined the top three retirement housing options for low-income seniors.

 1. Affordable Housing:

Accessing affordable housing is a right at any age but figuring out how to access it can be challenging. The Government of Ontario has a dedicated website to addressing affordable housing across the province, prioritizing the needs of people at risk of or currently homeless. Seniors may be eligible for the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit, a monthly benefit payment to help certain households that are either living in community housing or on the wait list for social housing to pay their rent.

Learn more about Affordable Housing and Supportive Housing initiatives in Ontario.

2. Aging in Place with Free Assisted Living Services:

Assisted living services are community-based health care services that provide eligible seniors with the assistance that they need to continue aging in place at their homes. Caregiver support provided through assisted living services may include:

  • Washing/bathing
  • Mouth care
  • Preventative skin care
  • Transferring/positioning/turning
  • Dressing/undress
  • Toileting or incontinence care
  • Homemaking – including running errands and doing groceries
  • Escorting to medical appointments
  • Medication reminders
  • Assisting with range of motion and in-home exercise


Learn more about no cost assisted living services provided by Carefor.

3. Low-Cost Retirement Living:

There are a few affordable retirement residences available to seniors living in Ontario right now. For example, Carefor MacKay Centre is one of the most affordable retirement homes in the entire Ottawa valley. The not-for-profit status of Carefor enables it to reduce costs and provide all-inclusive, low-cost packages to seniors living on a tight budget. Permanent move-ins even qualify for their first month free at the Carefor Civic Complex, and gain access to recreation programs, dedicated staff, community feeling, home-cooked meals and housekeeping.

Learn more about Ottawa’s most affordable retirement home and contact Jennifer to book a tour of the Carefor Civic Complex today at 613-732-9993 ext. 3223 or

When you or your aging parents are working with a tight budget, we recommend sitting down with a reputable financial advisor and determining how to use government retirement income programs such as CPP, OAS and GIS to work within your budgetary constraints or use our recommended resources below.

Recommended Resources for Low Income Seniors:

Canadian Retirement Income Calculator

Budget Planner