‘Scary’ prospects for Calgary seniors facing possible eviction

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‘Scary’ prospects for senior couple facing possible eviction in Calgary
WATCH: A senior couple in Calgary are facing a possible eviction, in the midst of Alberta’s housing crisis. Sherry and Dave Hilderman were trying to keep a cat their doctor had recommended for emotional support. But as Sarah Offin reports it could be costing them more than they had bargained for – May 23, 2024

A senior couple in Calgary is facing a possible eviction after they refused to give up their cat, which they claim is an emotional support animal.

Dave and Sherry Hilderman have lived in their subsidized two-bedroom apartment for more than 10 years.

They got the animal, named Baby Girl, at the advice of a doctor during the pandemic, as Sherry was coping with a severe depression.

Now the family is facing eviction and have until the middle of June to relocate.

“We’re in between a rock and a hard place,” said Dave Hilderman.

The eviction letter from Silvera for Seniors referenced breaches in the lease, including a violation of the building’s pet policy, and a number of unauthorized alterations.

Silvera for Seniors said it offered the couple a number of options in its other pet-friendly buildings. But the monthly costs are almost double or triple what Sherry and her husband are currently paying, they say.

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“We’re living cheque to cheque, and we do not have the capability of handling an increase,” said Dave. “Where do seniors cut? Do they cut meds or do they cut food?”

“It’s really scary. Sometimes I just feel frozen. I can’t do anything,” added Sherry.

Shelters across Calgary are facing occupancy challenges. Samantha Lowe from the Mustard Seed said it is starting to see more seniors in shelters, forcing the non-profit organization to look at new models of care.

“Chronic conditions — they are on oxygen, they are using walkers. And individuals who should be safely housed in a long-term sustainable manner, whether that’s in supportive housing or in typical market housing.”

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