Because there is little difference between what a higher vs lower income Alberta resident pays in accommodation charges, there can be challenges associated with a flat rate for accommodation:

  • The cost burden is always higher for low-income residents and couples living in two places (e.g., one at home and one in care). With a model that isn’t tied to income, there is always a desire among residents, funders and operators to keep rates low (and at times artificially low) for the benefit of lower incomes residents.

  • The cost of accommodation is easily managed by higher income residents, who may be receiving their ‘room and board’ at a low flat rate (for the benefit of lower income residents) that is far belong the true cost to the operator to provide the service.

  • It is exceptionally difficult to raise accommodation rates ‘across the board’ annually, or in response to high inflationary periods, because lower-income residents will struggle with cost increases.

  • When there are exceptional market-driven factors affecting the cost of operating a facility (such as the recent, rapidly rising food and utility costs), there is little room for the operator to recover the losses through accommodation fees. The operator may need to draw on financial reserves, donations, or care funding to cover the shortfall.

Did You Know?

For more than 150 years, CHAA’s not-for-profit operators have continued to rely heavily on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. It’s through these gifts that we can ensure no Alberta resident in need is ever turned away from a care home environment – even if they can’t afford to pay the resident accommodation fee.

Related content

Learn more about the funding model in Alberta.