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More Housing and Health Care for Victoria Seniors

VICTORIA, British Columbia, September 13, 2004 — A celebration of construction was held today for the Aberdeen Project, a new development that will combine supportive seniors housing, a health care centre and other services for seniors and their families.

The development, which adjoins Aberdeen Hospital, will contain 45 units of affordable supportive seniors housing managed by Victoria Cool Aid Society; the Vancouver Island Health Authority's Health Point Care Centre, which will offer integrated primary health care to adults over age 55; a 12-bed respite hotel; and a seniors' community health centre offering education, counselling and other wellness programs, including a bathing spa.

"Seniors will to be able to live with more independence once this project is completed," said the Honourable Keith Martin on behalf of Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Multi-partnerships between the various levels of government and our local partners made it a reality."

The Aberdeen Project is a multi-partnership initiative made possible with contributions from the federal and provincial governments, under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Capital Regional Hospital District, and the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation with the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation.

"The provincial government is committed to working in partnership with non-profit societies, the private sector and all levels of government to provide better housing and health care options to seniors," said Victoria-Hillside MLA Sheila Orr. "This development will provide homes to Victoria seniors at risk of homelessness and the end result of programs like this is better health and a better quality of life for our seniors."

The housing units, Hillside Terrace, will be home to low-income seniors who need affordable housing with support services. Rents will be geared to income and tenants will be able to order meals as they require and receive care through home support.

"Cool Aid and its partners are working towards increasing the health and well being of all community members – even those most marginalised," said Carol Finnie, CEO of Victoria Cool Aid Society. "Hillside Terrace allows us to meet the needs of low-income seniors by building upon the past successes of our healthcare, housing and shelter services."

"More options and better services to our older citizens is the shared vision of several agencies," said Marilyn Rook, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Vancouver Island Health Authority. "The combination of housing, support services and health care is an example of what we can accomplish by working together and provides the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for our seniors and their families."

The respite hotel and community health centre will be available to help seniors working to maintain their independence in the community, and were made possible through the Together We Care capital campaign.

"Seeing this project take shape reinforces the generosity of this community," said Michael O'Connor, Chair of the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation's Together We Care campaign. "The incredible support and compassion of Greater Victoria residents is making this project — and others — possible."

"Our partnership with the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation to raise funds for seniors support and care through Together We Care was immensely successful," said Linda Jones, President of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation. "This is truly a dream becoming a reality, and we are so excited to soon offer these services to seniors in our community."

"The Capital Regional Hospital District is pleased to be part of this project," said Capital Regional Hospital District Chair Don Amos. "The services provided in this building will improve the ability of our communities to support our seniors."

The Aberdeen Project is scheduled for completion in fall 2005.

Under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $88.7 million over 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 British Columbians in need.

This news release is available online at


Gloria Chu
BC Housing

Suzanne Germain
Vancouver Island Health Authority

Christina Wensley


Hillside Terrace

45 one-bedroom units of supportive seniors housing.

All units will be wheelchair accessible.

All Hillside Terrace tenants will be seniors at risk of homelessness as registered on Pacifica Housing Services waiting list. The unit rents will be geared to income and tenants will receive two meals a day, housekeeping, laundry, and personal care services provided by home support workers through the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Tenants will also have access to the services provided by the Health Point Care Centre located downstairs including a primary care medical centre, wellness centre, and bathing program.

Development Facts

Location: 1450 Hillside Avenue, Victoria

Expected completion: September/October 2005.

The site adjoins Aberdeen Hospital (extended care beds). A hospital annex used to be on the site but was demolished several years ago as it was antiquated. The vacant lot presented an opportunity to develop a supportive living development and health centre.

Victoria Cool Aid Society

Victoria Cool Aid Society will manage Hillside Terrace's housing units and give onsite support to tenants. The society has spent years planning and anticipating the construction of the development. This project builds upon the successes of Cool Aid's 36 years of providing healthcare, housing, and shelter to those in need.

Victoria Cool Aid Society has been building hope, lives and community since 1968. The organization has come a long way from a simple hostel in the late 1960s, to a society that annually shelters over 1,700, houses over 200, and provides health services to over 2,000 clients in the Capital Regional District.

Victoria Cool Aid Society manages five affordable housing facilities, two shelters, a dental and medical clinic, the Downtown Community Activity Centre, a Casual Labour Pool, addictions counselling, and a network assisting over 300 mental health consumers per month. The organization's 130 staff and 30 volunteers are the backbone of the organization — their driving force is their collective vision of eliminating homelessness.

Partnership Contributions

The capital cost of Hillside Terrace is $5.9 million.


Gloria Chu
BC Housing

Dana Oshiro
Victoria Cool Aid Society

Christina Wensley