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363 New Affordable Assisted Living Units

NANAIMO, British Columbia, April 29 2004 — Seniors and people with disabilities will benefit from 363 new assisted living units announced today for Vancouver Island. These new apartments will give people better access to affordable housing and personal care services in 13 Vancouver Island communities.

Of these, 290 units were allocated through the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program, a housing-for-health partnership that involves the provincial and federal governments, 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 Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). Today's announcement involves unit allocations to seven successful non-profit proponents and three private operators.

The remaining units are funded directly by VIHA, in developments located in Saanich, Brentwood, Salt Spring Island, and Oak Bay.

"By working in partnership, governments can provide senior citizens assistance and support so they can continue to live independently in their daily lives," said the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment. "These new assisted housing units not only meet the needs of B.C.'s seniors but they are helping build strong communities, throughout the province and throughout Canada."

"Studies show that only a small percentage of seniors need residential care," said Colin Hansen, Minister of Health Services. "We want to provide better options for seniors who need some assistance with daily living but don't need around-the-clock care. Assisted living is a great option for these seniors, and Independent Living BC is helping to make assisted living more accessible and affordable throughout the province."

"We've made great progress in our commitment to improve housing and health options for all British Columbians, and we couldn't have done it without strong partnerships with the private, non-profit and health sectors," said Murray Coell, Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services and Minister responsible for Housing. "Working together, we are giving seniors and people with disabilities more choices for independent, affordable housing with ready access to support services when needed."

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.

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.

"We believe assisted living offers seniors a way to remain living in the community by giving them the supports they need to maintain their independence," said Marilyn Rook, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of VIHA. "We are committed to developing a range of options like this so people can get on with their own lives even if they are experiencing health problems."

ILBC will create a total of 3,500 independent housing units with support services and assisted living apartments across the province by 2006. The ILBC units announced today, combined with the 1,648 units already awarded, brings the total allocation to 1,938 units across the province — about 55 per cent of the target.

Today's announcement brings the total number of ILBC units allocated on Vancouver Island to 526, with developments in Victoria, Sidney, Langford, Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo, Colwood, Parksville, Ucluelet, Duncan, Chemainus and Salt Spring Island. As well, a call for Expressions of Interest was recently issued to develop 35 assisted living apartments in Campbell River.

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 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

Media contact:

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

Lianne Peterson
(250) 370-8294

Christina Wensley
(604) 737-4032

Visit the province's Web site for online information and services.


Vancouver Island Housing Units

A total of 363 assisted living units were announced today in developments throughout Vancouver Island. Of these, 290 units are funded through the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program: seven developments will be operated by non-profit societies, and three private assisted living residences were awarded rent supplements to assist lower-income tenants with the cost of renting in these developments.

The remaining 73 units are funded directly by Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), in developments located in Saanich, Brentwood, Salt Spring Island and Oak Bay.

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. To date, 1,938 units have been allocated across the province, about 55 per cent of the target.

Independent Living BC

Courtenay Laurel Lodge Ltd. 75 units Rent Supplements
A new assisted living development will be built in Courtenay on the Laurel Lodge site. Built in two phases, the development will include a total of 110 assisted living apartments, 75 of which will be subsidized through rent supplements. Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2004. When the first phase of 83 units is complete, Laurel Lodge will be decommissioned to make way for the second phase.
Ucluelet Sea View Seniors Housing Society 10 units New Build
Sea View Seniors Housing Society will develop Ucluelet's first assisted living residence, located at Bay and Larch streets. This community-based society hopes to meet the needs of local seniors who need some assistance with daily activities but wish to remain in their home community.
Parksville Arrowsmith Rest Home Society 30 units Conversion
The Society will convert Arrowsmith Lodge, an outdated multi-level care building, into 30 assisted living apartments. These units will be part of a proposed campus of care that will include assisted living and complex care.
Chemainus Chemanius Health Care Foundation 15 units New Build
A new, 15-unit assisted living residence will be developed at 9914 Esplanade Street, across the street from the Chemainus Health Care Centre, a 75-unit complex care facility. The assisted living residence is expected to be completed in 2005.
Duncan Cowichan Indian Band Housing Society 50 units New Build
Through a unique collaboration between the Cowichan Tribe, the community of Duncan, and the provincial and federal governments, the Cowichan Indian Band Housing Society will develop a 50-unit assisted living residence on reserve land. The new development will serve Aboriginal Elders and non-Aboriginal seniors in the community, with personal care services provided by VIHA. M'akola Leasehold Society will serve as a managing partner.
Salt Spring Island Gulf Islands Intermediate Care Society 30 units New Build
A new three-storey, 30-unit assisted living residence will be built at 135 Crofton Road, adjacent to the Lady Minto Hospital and the Greenwoods intermediate care facility. It will be operated by the Gulf Islands Intermediate Care Society, which also provides day programs and Meals on Wheels to community seniors.
Sidney Sidney Seniors 5 units Rent Supplements
This newly-built assisted living residence was awarded an additional five rent supplements, to add to 24 units already awarded under ILBC. Located at 10030 Resthaven Drive, Sidney Seniors should be completed in June 2004.
Victoria Cridge Centre for the Family 40 units New Build
The Cridge Centre for the Family will renovate the Taylor Building, and construct a new addition to the original structure, to develop a total of 75 assisted living apartments at 1170 Kings Road. Forty of the apartments will be subsidized through ILBC; the remaining 35 units will be offered at a break-even cost by the Society.
Colwood West Shore Lodge Ltd. 5 units Rent Supplements
This 52-unit private assisted living residence, located at 1828 Island Highway near Goldstream Road, has received rent subsidies for five assisted living apartments. An additional five units will be subsidized by VIHA.
Saanich Luther Court Society 30 units Conversion
This project involves the renovation of an existing multi-level care facility at 1525 Cedar Hill Cross Road in Saanich. Thirty apartments will be converted to ILBC units, and VIHA will fund the renovation and upgrade of existing complex care beds.
Total Independent Living BC units allocated: 290

Vancouver Island Health Authority

Brentwood Peninsula Community Services 14 units
Owned and operated by Peninsula Community Services, Brentwood House has 14 bedrooms, and common lounge, dining and garden areas. It is located within three blocks of the Brentwood Village. Services provided include two meals daily, prepared on site and served in the common dining room. Peninsula Community Services will provide the personal care through its Home Support Agency. Brentwood House will open in May 2004.
Saanich The Cedars 10 units
The Cedars is a newly built full-service seniors housing development owned by Twilight Homes, a non-profit subsidiary of the Anglican Diocese of BC. VIHA has a contract for 10 units and provides professional and non-professional supports with a clustered home support service.
Saanich Rainbow Apartments 6 units
West Coast Independent Living (WCIL) has purchased or leased six units at Rainbow Apartments, a condominium building on MacKenzie Avenue rented by persons with disabilities. Each unit has been renovated to address the needs of individual tenants, and access has been improved to the building and individual suites. VIHA provides professional support and all personal care, cleaning and meal preparation are done by WCIL staff.
Saanich Garden Apartments 8 units
WCIL has purchased or leased eight units at Garden Apartments, which have been upgraded to be accessible to wheelchair users. VIHA Home and Community Care staff provides professional support, and WCIL staff provide personal care, cleaning and meal preparation services.
Saanich Highgate Lodge 5 units
VIHA has contracted for five units in Highgate Lodge, a newly built retirement building with 54 suites and full services.
Oak Bay Marrion Gardens 20 units
This newly-renovated housing complex is owned and operated by the Baptist Housing Ministries. VIHA has contracted for up to 20 units at Marrion Gardens.
Salt Spring Island Meadowbrook 10 units
This building was planned and owned by the Gulf Island Seniors Residence Association on Salt Spring Island. VIHA has contracted for 10 of the 38 apartment units, providing personal and professional services such as meals, cleaning, activities and monitoring.
Total Vancouver Island Health Authority units allocated: 73