Mandatory meal program reviewed

Authority BC Housing

Mr. Green contacted us because he was unhappy about having to pay for meals that he didn’t like. A few years ago, he had moved into an apartment in a building operated by BC Housing. His apartment had full cooking facilities, but tenancy in this building required mandatory participation in a Seniors’ Supportive Housing program that included a lunchtime meal, along with light housekeeping and social activities. Mr. Green prepared breakfast and dinner himself in his apartment but did not like the quality of meals at lunchtime. Kitchen staff met with him several times and tried to accommodate his taste, but Mr. Green continued to be dissatisfied. He asked to opt out of the program, but his request was denied.

We reviewed the Seniors’ Supportive Housing policy with BC Housing staff. They had correctly applied their policy in this situation. BC Housing’s records showed that many tenants relied on the program to extend their ability to live independently. BC Housing maintained that it would be difficult to keep the program viable if tenants were frequently opting in and out.

However, Mr. Green was not the only tenant in this building who had raised concerns about the mandatory nature of the program. BC Housing said that a provincewide program review was scheduled for later in the year, but it would review the policy in place at this residence now. BC Housing wanted to ensure that it was flexible in meeting the needs of residents, so it provided all tenants with a letter giving them an opportunity to stay in the mandatory meal program or withdraw from it. Mr. Green took the opportunity to withdraw from the program.

We concluded that the steps BC Housing took to settle the complaint were fair and reasonable and closed our file.

Category Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2010
Location The Interior