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Affordable Assisted Living for Island Seniors

NANAIMO, British Columbia, July 20, 2004 — Seniors in Nanaimo with low to moderate incomes have more housing options with the official opening today of 45 units of much needed assisted living housing. Kiwanis House, located at 1233 Kiwanis Crescent, provides affordable independent apartments with support services for seniors and is the first non-profit development to be completed under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program.

Kiwanis House is a project initiated by the Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society. It was made possible through a partnership between the federal and provincial governments through the ILBC program. Partners include Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), BC Housing and the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

"This partnership between the governments of Canada and British Columbia shows what is achievable when governments strive to work for the common good," said Jeff Loucks, B.C. Regional Manager, Assisted Housing for the federally-sponsored CMHC. "Helping the province’s lower income seniors and persons with disabilities, who require help on a daily basis continue to live independently, will make a positive difference in the lives of all concerned."

"Seniors are finding that assisted living is an excellent option to meet their housing and personal care needs," said Murray Coell, Minister for Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services and minister responsible for Housing. "They want to maintain their independence by having their own apartments, but they also want access to personal care when they need it. The provincial government is working hard to expand the range of housing options available to seniors, and to make assisted living more accessible and affordable throughout the province."

"Providing more options for seniors’ housing and care is a priority for this government," said Mike Hunter, MLA for Nanaimo. "Over the next two decades the seniors’ population in B.C. will double to an estimated 1.4 million. By 2026, about 30,000 Nanaimo residents – 21 per cent of Nanaimo’s projected population – are expected to be age 65 or older."

While some frail seniors need ongoing professional nursing care, the vast majority of seniors do not want or need 24-hour care in a hospital setting. Assisted living adds to the range of housing and care options currently available, and better suits a growing population of seniors who are living longer, healthier lives.

"The availability of assisted living units fills a long-standing gap in service options for seniors in Central Island, and will help to prevent admission to a long-term care facility prematurely," said Marilyn Rook, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The new assisted living development is owned and managed by the Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society, a non-profit group that has been providing Nanaimo seniors with affordable housing since 1955. The society also operates Kiwanis Lodge, a complex care facility; Kiwanis Manor, seniors’ apartment units; and Kiwanis Village, seniors’ independent living duplexes and fourplexes.

"Kiwanis House completes the campus of care offered on our site," said Bob Stewart, president of the Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society. "Now, at least 182 Nanaimo seniors are able to age in place. This minimizes the transition for seniors when their care needs change and it helps couples and friends to remain nearby even when a new level of care is required."

The Independent Living BC program will create 3,500 affordable apartments with support services across the province, including 2,500 units developed with non-profit societies through the construction of new developments or the conversion of existing housing or health facilities. The remaining 1,000 units will be provided through rent supplements in private market developments. About 2,200 ILBC units have been allocated to date and hundreds more will be allocated in the coming months.

ILBC is funded in part through the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $88.7 million towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide $29.7 million annually to subsidize the costs of units built under this agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for vulnerable British Columbians.

Media contact:

Susan Thom
BC Housing
604 230-1301

Anya Nimmon
Vancouver Island Health Authority
250 740-6980

Christina Wensley
CMHC
604 737-4032

Mats Bergman
Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society
250 714-4442

Visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services.

Backgrounder

Kiwanis House Facts

Society Facts

The Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society was formed in 1955 to provide seniors with affordable housing. The society’s members all belong to the Kiwanis Club of Nanaimo.

The society owns and operates Kiwanis House as well as a number of other developments on the same site. Kiwanis Lodge, a 75-bed complex care facility, opened in 2003. Kiwanis Manor, with 30 seniors’ apartment units, opened in 2001 and is subsidized by BC Housing. Kiwanis Village, which offers 24 units of independent living in duplexes and townhouses, was built in two stages: in 1957 and in 1970.

An intermediate care facility was built in 1976 and was converted to create the new 45 assisted living units in Kiwanis House. Attached to Kiwanis House is an activity building that was opened in 1999. This building contains a room with a large stage and can seat up to 300 people.

Development Facts

Kiwanis House
Location: 1233 Kiwanis Crescent, Nanaimo
Number of new units:
29 studio units
16 one-bedroom units
45 Independent Living BC (ILBC) assisted living units

Kiwanis House is the first non-profit development to be completed under ILBC. The project involved the conversion of a 102-bed intermediate-care facility into 45 units of assisted living apartments.

All units are wheelchair accessible; four units are fully accessible.

Tenants pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units. They receive two meals a day (and can opt to purchase a third) from the on-site restaurant, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, and recreational opportunities.

More than half the units have patios and the balance have small French balconies. All overlook a nicely grassed area. The on-site restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and offers menu choices. Residents from other parts of the Kiwanis complex can opt to dine at the restaurant if they wish on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Tenants began moving in May 2004 and the development is fully occupied.

Altogether the Kiwanis developments on this site make a campus of care that allows residents to age in place. This minimizes the transition for seniors when their care needs change and it helps couples and friends to remain nearby even when care levels are different.

Partnership Contributions

  • The federal government, through the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, contributed a grant of $1.125 million.
  • The provincial government, through BC Housing is providing an operating subsidy of $1.5 million over 35 years.
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority is funding the home support and home care services provided to the tenants.
  • The Nanaimo District Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society provided the land and the building for conversion, valued at $2.8 million.

Independent Living BC

In 2002, the province, through BC Housing, implemented the Independent Living BC program in partnership with the federal government, regional health authorities, and the private and non-profit sectors.

The program will create 3,500 affordable independent living units with support services across the province by 2006. Of these, 2,500 units are being developed with non-profit societies through the construction of new developments or the conversion of existing health facilities. The remaining 1,000 units are being provided through rent supplements in private assisted living developments.

Seniors are referred to ILBC units by their local health authorities. Case managers work with individual seniors to determine whether independent living is the best option to meet their needs.

Media contact:

Susan Thom
BC Housing
604 230-1301

Anya Nimmon
Vancouver Island Health Authority
250 740-6980

Mats Bergman
Nanaimo District Senior Citizens' Housing Development Society
250 714-4442

Christina Wensley
CMHC
604 737-4032

Visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services.

Kiwanis House Building
Exterior of building

Kiwanis House Crowd
Crowd

Kiwanis House Plaque
(left to right) Mike Hunter, MLA for Nanaimo and Lee King, Corporate Representative for CMHC

Kiwanis House Ribbon
(left to right) Mats Bergmann, Coordinator for Nanaimo District Senior Citizens' Housing Development Society (NDSCHDS); Murray Coell, Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Resources; Diane Brennan, City of Nanaimo; Sue Aberman, Vancouver Island Health Authority; Lee King, CMHC; Mike Hunter, MLA for Nanaimo; Bob Stewart, tenant; Beryl (last name unknown), Administrator of Development, NDSCHDS

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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