Q. What are the differences between the types of housing you offer?
Subsidized Apartments and Affordable Apartments are self-contained units with your own private kitchen and bathroom, where you do your own cooking and cleaning.
Subsidized apartments have rent geared to income of 30 per cent of your gross annual income.
Affordable apartments have a flat rental rate that does not vary based on your income, but may be adjusted annually.
GEF also offers Subsidized Lodge units and Affordable Lodge units.
Subsidized lodge units are self-contained, with your own bed/sitting room and a private bathroom. As well as your rental charge of 30 per cent of your gross annual income up to the maximum monthly rental charge, there is also a separate lodge service fee that covers three meals per day and snacks as well as weekly housekeeping and a variety of activity and wellness programming. Non-medical staff are available 24 hours a day.
Affordable Lodge units have kitchenettes with sink and cupboard space, but no appliances. Residents in these lodge units pay a flat monthly rental fee and the lodge service fee.
Q. How soon can I move in?
If you have a high need for housing and services and you are flexible about where you live, your wait time may be lower. If you are only interested in a specific location where there are only a few vacancies per year, you may be waiting longer.
The specific timeframe depends on where you want to live, any additional amenities you would like—such as a pet-friendly unit or parking—existing vacancies and the housing needs of our clients. However, if you need housing more quickly, please note this on your application and we will do our best to help you.
Please note that GEF does not provide emergency or interim housing.
Q. Can I apply before I’m 65?
If you are single, you must be 65 before you can apply for housing with GEF.
For couples, one person must be 65 and the other person needs to be at least 60 years of age before they can apply for housing.
Q. Do I need to have a medical assessment before applying or bring a doctor’s note to GEF?
No, GEF does not require a medical assessment. Our self-contained apartment units are classified as independent living, and our lodges are classified as supportive living. This means that everyone who lives in a GEF community is considered to be functionally independent – able to manage their daily affairs and able to get around the building they live in, either on their own or with a mobility aid such as a cane, walker or wheelchair.
Q. Do you have medical staff?
No, GEF does not employ any medical or care staff. That said, a number of seniors living at GEF receive home care either from Alberta Health Services (AHS) or an AHS-contracted home care service provider, and you would be welcome to arrange for this service on your own.
Q. What is Functional Independence?
Functional independence is the physical, mental and emotional ability to look after your own daily personal needs and be able to interact socially and appropriately with other residents. Each senior in a GEF building lives in their own self-contained unit, but it is expected that you are able to:
- Maintain your own unit in a tidy condition, unless you live in the lodge and have housekeeping do the weekly cleaning
- Live amicably with fellow residents and staff
- Abide by the terms of the lease agreement you sign with GEF
- Manage your own personal medications, either on your own or with home care support
- Maintain appropriate personal hygiene
- Get around the building and to and from the dining room for meals, with or without the assistance of an aid to daily living such as a cane, walker or wheelchair.
Q. Are pets allowed?
GEF welcomes applications for small pets at all of our sites. Please note that not all units in all of our buildings are able to accommodate pets, so you may have to wait longer to move into a pet-friendly unit.
Our Pet Policy Questions and Answers handout has more information and frequently-asked questions.
Q. Do you do income and asset verification?
We verify your income for all of our housing programs, taking line 15000 of your most-recent Notice of Assessment, to calculate your rent. We also verify assets to calculate your priority level for housing need in our Subsidized Apartments program.
Q. What is the household income threshold to receive subsidized housing with GEF?
Each year, GEF reviews rental rates and calculates subsidized rent based on the Alberta government’s annual threshold limits. You will receive at least 30 days’ notice of any change in your rent.
The threshold as of July 1, 2021 is:
- $36,000 – bachelor (apartment or single lodge unit)
- $41,000 (single)
- $52,000 (couple)
To be eligible for subsidized housing in our self-contained apartments, your total gross annual income from line 15000 of your most-recent Notice of Assessment cannot be over the income threshold. Eligibility is always based on your previous tax year’s reported income, and not your current year’s income.
You are also required to be a Canadian citizen or equivalent to live in a GEF Seniors Housing community.