07/31/2012 04:51 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Rent going up in Prince Edward Island's publicly owned seniors residences

CHARLOTTETOWN - Some seniors in Prince Edward Island will be paying more for a place to live due to rent increases at public long-term care facilities.

As of the end of July, residents in provincially owned manors will pay $80.25 per day, although some are eligible for a subsidy, depending on their income.

That’s $2,439.60 a month.

Prior to the change, rent in public manors was $69.30 per day.

The province says the rate increase brings the rent in public facilities in line with what private centres charge.

Calvin Joudrie, Health P.E.I.'s long-term care subsidization manager, says over the last six years there have been annual rent increases in private centres.

He says when it started, the rate was $65 per day and there were gradual increases over time until the rate reached $77.60 in private centres.

Joudrie said the rates for public facilities hadn't gone up in two years.

"This year we can no longer hold the rate because of the increase in costs," he said.

Although $80.25 is the limit, it includes the base rate of $77.60 plus a premium for people whose incomes are high enough to pay without a subsidy.

The government bases how much people actually pay on their income and there are subsidies available to pay part of the rent.

There are 1,061 people living in Island long-term care facilities.

Opposition Leader Olive Crane said the government is increasing the rates to get money wherever it can to make up for overspending.

"In this case it’s on the seniors' backs."

Crane also said the government didn't mention the higher rent in its spring budget and is increasing it with very little notice.

(Charlottetown Guardian)