Buzzwords for homeless

Re. Seniors in the housing crisis (Castanet, April 19)

As of late, there are a number of new buzzwords and many adjectives being used in the media to redefine elements describing homelessness, poverty and the like.

The words “homelessness” and “poverty" have long been used to describe these situations and the meanings of them are well-understood by everyone who is not illiterate.

It seems now these common terms are felt by many critics and writers to not carry enough weight, or somehow create a stigma when applied to descriptions of the “victims" (of homelessness and poverty), so new terms are being invented that simply rename the problem. They do nothing to make changes, simply reinvent the problem under a new name, still carrying the same negative connotations but seen as more “politically correct” (another (buzzphrase).

Let's call a spade a spade. In the article, Virginia Holden of the Victoria Housing Society uses the term "unhoused" several times, and others say "underhoused,” both (words) with negative connotations. Now, I see there is a new one in the article, “overhoused”, being used to describe some seniors’ living situations.

The majority of seniors sought out employment as young folks, worked hard—some for more than 30 years at one job—to earn a living and buy and pay for homes with some mortgages running more than 30 years before being paid off.

Many planned for, and paid into, pensions for 30 years and, like investments, hoped they would (allow) them to enjoy a comfortable retirement. These aren't the 22% of poor seniors mentioned in the article.

Would the remaining 78% of seniors, be classified as overhoused? That's a new one to me, as if we, the 78% are part of the problem.

Let's leave the majority out of it and have these societies look after their chosen cause, homelessness.

Alan Sanderson

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