Print Back

369 New Assisted Living Units for Lower Mainland Seniors

BURNABY, British Columbia, April 7, 2004 — Seniors will benefit from 369 new non-profit and private assisted living units allocated under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program. These new apartments will give seniors better access to affordable housing and personal care services in six Lower Mainland cities.

The units announced today, combined with the 1,269 units already awarded, brings the total allocation to more than 1,600 units across the province — about 45 per cent of the 3,500 ILBC units to be developed by 2006.

This announcement is made possible through new partnerships forged by BC Housing along with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), two regional health authorities, and the private and non-profit sectors. Various housing societies submitted proposals to provide assisted living through ILBC, in response to calls for expressions of interest issued by BC Housing and regional health authorities. Today's announcement involves unit allocations to six successful non-profit proponents and one private facility.

"These new units are a fine example of governments working in partnership to provide affordable housing and support services for seniors who still want to live independently but who require some assistance," said the Hon. Herb Dhaliwal, M.P. for Vancouver-South Burnaby. "Meeting the housing needs of seniors helps to build strong communities, not only in B.C. but throughout Canada."

"We are working hard to expand the range of care options to meet the needs of our growing seniors population, many of whom need some help with the activities of daily living but want to maintain an independent lifestyle by having their own apartments," said Colin Hansen, Minister of Health Services. "Assisted living is an excellent option for these people, and Independent Living BC is helping to make assisted living more accessible and affordable for lower-income seniors throughout the province."

"We've made a solid commitment to improve housing and health options for all British Columbians, and we couldn't achieve it without strong partnerships with the private, non-profit and health sectors," said Murray Coell, Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services. "The Independent Living BC program is proof positive that by working together, we can offer seniors more choices for secure, affordable and quality housing with some support, in the communities where they live."

ILBC encompasses two types of housing: independent housing with some support and assisted living for those who require a greater level of care. Typically, these units are self-contained apartments in developments where tenants receive personal care services, such as some meals, housekeeping and laundry services, recreational opportunities and 24-hour response system. Assisted living is designed for people who do not want or need to be in 24-hour facility care. As a middle option between home care and residential care, assisted living offers a more tailored approach in addressing individuals' housing and personal care needs.

"Fraser Health is now almost two-thirds of the way towards our goal of awarding 1,100 new assisted living units," said Keith Anderson, Fraser Health's Vice-President for Health Planning and Systems Development. "This set of awards demonstrates our rapid progress in adding assisted living to Fraser Health's range of services for seniors and people with disabilities in communities, large and small, from Delta to Hope."

"VCH is committed to helping seniors live as independently as possible for as long as possible," said Maureen Whyte, Chief Operations Officer, Vancouver Community, Vancouver Coastal Health. "We are achieving this by working with our partners to build assisted living, thereby broadening the range of options and services available to seniors while supporting them in managing and directing their own care needs. This projects announced today bring us one step closer to this."

ILBC will create a total of 3,500 independent housing units with support services and assisted living apartments across the province as part of the provincial government's New Era commitment to provide 5,000 new intermediate and long-term care spaces by 2006.

ILBC is funded in part by the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $88.7 million over the next five years 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.

For more information about ILBC, visit www.bchousing.org

Contact:

Susan Thom
BC Housing
(604) 439-4715
(604) 230-1301 (cell)

Viviana Zanocco
Vancouver Coastal Health
(604) 708-5282

Christina Wensley
CMHC
(604) 737-4032


David Plug
Fraser Health
(604) 450-7881 (pager)

Backgrounder

A total of 369 assisted living units were announced today in seven developments in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health authorities, funded through the Independent Living BC program. Six developments will be operated by non-profit societies; these developments will be newly built or converted from existing housing or health facilities. Successful proponents were selected through calls for expressions of interest issued by BC Housing and regional health authorities. The other is a private development that was awarded rent supplements on an interim basis.

The Independent Living BC program will create a total of 3,500 independent housing units with support services and assisted living apartments across the province. Of these, 2,500 units will be developed by non-profit societies and 1,000 units will be provided through rent supplements in private assisted living developments.

Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver The Salvation Army
7252 Kerr Street
57 units Conversion
This project involves the demolition and rebuild of an outdated residential care wing at The Salvation Army's Southview Lodge, to create 57 assisted living apartments. The development will include assisted living, supportive housing and a common amenity area. The Salvation Army is the largest non-governmental social service agency in British Columbia.
Vancouver Haro Park Centre Society
845 Bute Street
36 units Conversion
Haro Park Centre is a non-profit facility and housing complex located at Haro and Bute Streets in Vancouver's West End. It includes 154 complex care beds and 64 independent, self-contained suites. The society will renovate 36 of the self-contained suites to assisted living; these apartments will be offered to assisted living tenants upon vacancy. When the renovations are complete, Haro Park will be Vancouver's first campus of care, offering a range of housing, hospitality and personal care services to seniors.

Fraser Health

Delta Kinsmen Retirement Centre
1050 - 54A Street
68 units Conversion
Delta's second assisted living award under the ILBC program will add 68 units of assisted living to a campus of care that includes 101 residential care beds funded by Fraser Health. Kinsmen Retirement Centre will convert Kin Court South, an independent seniors housing development, into modern assisted living apartments. The development is close to amenities and clients will have access to a full range of hospitality and personal care services. The conversion is expected to be complete by mid-2005.
Surrey Progressive Inter-Cultural Community Services Society
7566 - 120A Street
72 units New Build
The society will build a new 72-unit assisted living development adjacent to its 54-unit supportive seniors development. PICCS receives the third award for Surrey under the ILBC program. A group of community volunteers formed the society in 1987 to offer a range of social services in the Lower Mainland, such as assistance to agricultural workers, ESL classes, health and employment programs, social activities, and human rights and anti-racism programs. The building is expected to be complete by late 2005.
White Rock Evergreen Baptist Home
1501 Everall Street
44 units New Build
Evergreen Baptist Home has been awarded 44 new units to add to 40 units previously awarded under ILBC. White Rock's first publicly-funded assisted living development of 84 units will add to an existing campus of care that includes 157 residential care beds funded by Fraser Health and 110 independent seniors' housing units. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy by January 2006.
Abbotsford Tabor Housing Society
31944 Sunrise Crescent
82 units New Build
Abbotsford's first publicly-funded assisted living units will be part of a campus of care operated by the Tabor Housing Society. The new 82 units of assisted living will be adjacent to a 121-bed residential care facility funded by Fraser Health and a 38-unit apartment building for independent seniors. The development should be complete late next year.
Hope Brodel Development (North-West) Corp.
765 Hope Princeton Way
10 units Rent Supplements
The first publicly-funded assisted living services in Hope will result from 10 rent supplements at Riverside Manor. The private development will provide accommodation and Fraser Health will provide personal care services. Services will begin June 2004. This award is an interim measure that allows Fraser Health to provide local access to publicly-funded assisted living while examining the potential to add assisted living units at Fraser Hope Lodge, a residential care facility adjacent to Fraser Canyon Hospital.