KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, August 19, 2004 — Seniors with low to moderate incomes in Kamloops will have more options for affordable housing and personal care with the construction of a 76-unit assisted living development. The official groundbreaking ceremony for Bedford Manor took place today. The new development, which will provide affordable apartments and support services for seniors, is expected to be completed by August 2005.
Bedford Manor is funded under Independent Living BC (ILBC), an innovative housing-for-health program managed by BC Housing in partnership with the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the regional health authorities. The City of Kamloops also contributed to the project, making it a collaborative venture between all three levels of government. The John Howard Society has provided significant equity towards the project and is involved in continuing fundraising efforts.
"Quality, affordable housing is what the partnership between the Governments of Canada and British Columbia aims to produce because of our shared vision for the people of this province," said the Honourable Raymond Chan on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Housing projects such as this one in Kamloops will help us ensure that our seniors continue to lead active and independent lives."
"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, said Kamloops MLA Claude Richmond. "Bedford Manor will be the first non-profit, subsidized assisted living development in Kamloops. Seniors in Kamloops will now have the option to continue to live independently while accessing the personal care that they need."
While some frail seniors need ongoing professional nursing care, the vast majority of seniors do not want or need 24-hour care in an institutional 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 Bedford Manor is a good example of the new opportunities Interior Health is providing to seniors that they have never had before," said Alan Dolman, Chair of IH's board of directors. "Assisted living fills a gap in care for seniors in Kamloops and the region by allowing greater freedom and self-sufficiency in a supportive environment. I am really pleased to see this project get underway in the community."
"The City of Kamloops has a long history of recognizing the importance of suitable and affordable housing to maintain a healthy community," said Mayor Mel Rothenburger. "Over the past decade, the City has supported non-profit agencies to create 450 affordable housing units. In 2003, City Council established an Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, the money from which will be used by Council to provide future support for affordable housing projects."
The new assisted living development is owned and managed by the John Howard Society, a non-profit group that has been operating in the region since 1933. The society operates three other social housing developments in the Kamloops area. With the construction of this building, the John Howard Society will be the largest affordable housing provider in Kamloops.
"The John Howard Society is delighted to be a part of the assisted living program," said Wally Kloubeck, President of the John Howard Society. "Our housing mission is to provide affordable housing which improves the quality of life for residents. These 76 affordable assisted living units will allow seniors and persons with disabilities to continue to live in their own communities independently, which defines quality of life for many of them."
ILBC will create a total of 3,500 affordable apartments with support services across the province by 2006. To date, more than 2350 units have been allocated under the program, with hundreds more to 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.
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John Howard Society
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The John Howard Society of the Thompson Region was formed in 1933. Its housing mission is to provide well-managed, affordable housing which improves the quality of life for residents. The John Howard Society has three other social housing developments in the Kamloops area. With the construction of this building, the John Howard Society will be the largest affordable housing provider in Kamloops.
Location: 529 Seymour Street, Kamloops
Number of new units:
76 one-bedroom ILBC assisted living units
Bedford Manor is the first non-profit assisted living development in Kamloops.
The building is a four-storey complex. The site is located within the City's Central Business District in close proximity to other seniors' apartments, a seniors' centre, shopping and medical offices.
All units are wheelchair accessible.
Tenants pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units. They receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, personal care services and recreational and social opportunities.
Construction is expected to be completed by August 2005 with residents able to move in for September 2005.
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.
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.
|Kamloops MLA Claude Richmond, left, MP for Richmond and Minister of State (Multiculturalism) Raymond Chan and Minister for Women's and Senior's Services Ida Chong celebrate the groundbreaking for the John Howard Society's Bedford Manor.|