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New Assisted Living Units for the North

BULKLEY VALLEY, British Columbia, November 19, 2004 — Moderate-income seniors are one step closer to additional affordable housing and care services with today's announcement of 22 new Independent Living BC (ILBC) units being developed in two communities in the Bulkley Valley. Five ILBC units will be located in Houston and 17 ILBC units located in Burns Lake.

These assisted living units will provide affordable apartments, hospitality services and personal care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities and are part of 59 ILBC units announced today for four northern communities.

"Seniors in Houston and Burns Lake will be able to live in a quality environment and continue to contribute to their communities," said the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minster of Labour and Housing. "Living near their families and friends, as part of the community, will ensure a higher quality of life for all concerned and is due in large part to the continuing funding partnership between the various levels of government, as well as our local partners."

The province, through BC Housing, is facilitating the ILBC program in partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Northern Health, and the private and non-profit sectors. Various housing operators submitted proposals to provide assisted living through ILBC, in response to calls for proposals issued by BC Housing and Northern Health. This announcement involves ILBC unit allocations to non-profit societies within the Northern region.

"Today's announcement is excellent news for our Northern communities," said the Honourable Dennis MacKay, MLA for Bulkley Valley-Stikine. "Many seniors are healthy, active and independent, and while they may need some assistance with daily living, the vast majority do not want or need 24-hour professional nursing care. Assisted living is a great option for these seniors, and we are working hard to make assisted living more accessible and affordable throughout the province."

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 and hospitality services, such as meals, housekeeping, laundry services, recreational opportunities and a 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 are improving the way we have cared for seniors over the years by providing more options, to promote choice and independence, such as assisted living," said, Harry Gairns, Northern Health Board Chair. "Up until now, seniors requiring assistance had few options — care at home or living in a facility and many seniors had to leave the communities they called home. Northern Health is committed to bringing choice to seniors where they live."

This announcement brings the total number of ILBC units allocated in the Northern Health to 65, with developments in Quesnel, Houston, Burns Lake, Kitimat and Pouce Coupe.

ILBC will create a total of 3,500 independent apartments with support services across the province by 2006. The ILBC units announced today will bring the total allocation to over 2,430 assisted living units across the province — almost 70 per cent of the target. The remainder, are expected to be allocated over 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.

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

Contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer
BC Housing
(604) 439-4758

Christina Wensley
CMHC
(604) 737-4032

Mark Karjaluoto
Northern Health
(250) 565-2694

Backgrounder

New Assisted Living Units for the North

A total of 59 assisted living units were announced today in four developments throughout BC's Northern Region. All of these assisted living units will be managed by non-profit societies.

ILBC will create a total of 3,500 independent apartments with support services across the province by 2006. The ILBC units announced today will bring the total allocation to over 2,430 assisted living units across the province - almost 70 per cent of the target. The remainder are expected to be allocated over the coming months.

Houston Houston Lions Senior Citizens Home Society 5 units New Build
As the result of a competitive Expression of Interest process, Houston Lions Senior Citizens Home Society has been invited to submit a detailed proposal to build 5 new assisted living units as an addition to their existing 16 units of seniors housing at 2261 Copeland Avenue.
Burns Lake Lakes District Senior Citizen Housing Society 17 units New Build
As the result of a competitive Expression of Interest process, Lakes District Senior Citizen Housing Society has been invited to develop a detailed proposal to build 17 assisted living units. The site location, already leased to the Society is between Babine Lake Road and the existing Heritage Manor, with access off 9th Avenue.
Kitimat Kitimat Kiwanis Senior Citizens Housing Society 15 units New Build
As the result of a competitive Expression of Interest process, Kitimat Kiwanis Senior Citizens Housing Society has been invited to submit a detailed proposal to build 15 subsidized assisted living units at 701 Mountainview Square. The land is municipally owned and is expected to be donated to the Society.
Pouce Coupe Dawson Creek Society for Community Living 22 units Conversion
As the result of a competitive Expression of Interest process, Dawson Creek Society for Community Living has been invited to submit a detailed proposal to convert the Peace River Haven, a residential care facility, into 22 units of assisted living.