Name: Ingrid Steenhuisen

Occupation: Volunteer/Community Activist

Ingrid is 55. She was born to immigrant parents who lived in social housing at the Little Mountain site in Vancouver.  She joined the military after graduating high school as a way to gain income and employment skills, but was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia and various other health issues. She is currently unable to work.  She receives CPP disability plus a small top up from the provincial government, and has moved back to the affordable housing site where she grew up to take care of her ailing mother.  

We support raising disability rates and providing more social housing. An income of $906 per month ($10,782 annually) is significantly below the poverty line. As housing costs continue to rise without a corresponding increase in disability benefits, those living on disability are forced to make difficult choices to make ends meet.

“[I’d call my financial challenges] “fiscal juggling”… The more juggling you have to do, the greater anxiety there ends up being.  It’s like [spinning plates].  The more plates you have to keep spinning, the harder it gets.  And this isn’t just for renters, this ends up being for homeowners as well.”