Joan Bausch is a 76-year-old senior citizen struggling to make ends meet.
According to the County of Placer, seniors make up 18.72 percent of the population and this number is projected to climb to 27.11 percent by 2036.
Due to several health obstacles Joan has faced in recent years, including surviving cancer twice, she is no longer able to work and intermittently still undergoes treatment at Stanford for additional health ailments. Without her work income, Joan has still managed to get by on her Social Security and a small pension, together totaling $1050, with her rent consuming $825, leaving her with just $225 each month for groceries, bills and other expenses. However, Joan’s living situation recently shifted from barely getting by to facing the sobering reality that she may lose her home.
Joan has lived in the same apartment for over eight years in Auburn. She reported that her rent has increased multiple times over the years and each time she was given only 30 days’ notice of the increase. Today, her rent stands at $1035 a month, an increase of 25.5 percent, leaving her with a mere $15 to spend. In total, 98.5 percent of Joan’s fixed income now goes to rent.
Seniors like Joan who live on a fixed income depend on consistent, affordable housing, but there is deficit here and many are finding themselves in similar situations. In Placer County, creating lasting affordable housing for seniors like Joan and for everyone living and work here needs to be and stay a priority.
Thank you for creating awareness of the magnitude of the housing problem, especially for fixed-income seniors and even more especially for people who find their apple cart upset by medical situations. The most complete career, retirement, and savings plans can come crashing down when one’s body goes into crisis. A friend who is an oncology nurse at Sutter Auburn Faith says she sees it all the time and it breaks her heart. It breaks my heart that I can’t do more for my friend Joanie.
I was almost homeless myself a few years ago, and am blessed that with a loan from my brother I could purchase a recession price-depressed, fixer-upper mobile home. Now I am concerned as I watch older homes being removed from the park and replaced with new, expensive homes, and see fixed-income seniors being replaced by comfortably-retired 55+ individuals who want a safe location from which to travel and enjoy life. It’s a free market after all, and the parks can get more rent and people can save on their retirement expenses. However, this trend defeats the affordable housing goals for low income or fixed income individuals. My space rent has gone from $500 to $640 in 5 years, but at least the park gives several months notice each time. I’m just turning 80, and must keep my little business 3 to 5 more years for the extra money to make essential repairs and improvements, and try to save aa few pennies, before I rely totally on Social Security. Here’s hoping my health keeps holding. Like many people, I have no family to help me. I can truly relate to the situations many people find themselves in.
Please keep up your good work and keep pressure on the powers that be. I don’t believe in free rides, but I do believe in fairness for everyone, and helping those who simply must be helped.