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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Aging gracefully : a case study of seniors in Kelowna's housing market Brown, Heather Catherine


This thesis explores the most salient housing issues experienced by seniors as homeowners and renters living in the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, known as one of the most expensive housing markets in Canada. Barriers and challenges in obtaining and maintaining their housing, housing affordability, and aging-in-place are the primary issues discussed. Avenues for further research are also addressed. Data for this study were collected between June and October 2011, based on a survey of 45 senior homeowners and 34 senior renters as well as semi-structured interviews conducted with 12 key informants. The sample was drawn from the population of seniors (aged 65 or older) who have a primary residence in the city of Kelowna. All participants were required to be Canadian citizens and living independently at the time the research was conducted. Results from the case study point out those seniors in Kelowna’s housing market, both homeowners and renters, face challenges and barriers with affordability, accessibility, adaptability and aging-in-place. Empirical data indicate that both senior homeowners and senior renters in Kelowna have major concerns in their search for adequate, accessible and affordable housing. This exploratory case study adds to the existing literature by highlighting the importance of understanding seniors’ housing experiences in the city of Kelowna. Significant issues such as accessibility, adaptability and aging-in-place are thoroughly discussed in this study Recommendations from this study include a need for more government support in the form of affordable housing, as well as possible policy initiatives addressing future housing construction in the city of Kelowna.

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