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Work Set to Begin for New Assisted Living Homes

VICTORIA, British Columbia, April 11, 2005 — For 130 years, BC's oldest non-profit society has looked after the interests of children and families in Greater Victoria. Today, The Cridge Centre for the Family and representatives of all levels of government celebrated the beginning of work for 77 new assisted living units for Victoria seniors — 40 of the units will be funded jointly by BC Housing and the Vancouver Island Health Authority under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program.

The new units will be built in and adjacent to the historic Taylor Building at 1190 Kings Road. A new three-storey wood-frame building will also be constructed as an addition to the Taylor Building. The heritage building will be renovated and seismically upgraded.

"Today's announcement is about helping more seniors to live independently," said the Honourable David Anderson, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "This project marks a new start in their lives, and contributes to the success and sustainability of the community."

Assisted living homes are self-contained apartments where hospitality and personal care services, such as meals, housekeeping and laundry services, recreational opportunities, assistance with medications, mobility and other care needs, as well as a 24-hour response system, are available to residents as required. The Vancouver Island Health Authority will provide subsidies for the hospitality component and will also fund the personal care services.

"This new development is an innovative example of a non-profit group working with government to provide more assisted living for our seniors," said Sheila Orr, MLA for Victoria-Hillside. "Partnerships like this allow us to give seniors more choices for independent, affordable housing with ready access to support services when needed."

Providing more options for seniors' housing and care is a priority, given that over the next two decades the seniors' population in B.C. will double to an estimated 1.4 million. While some frail seniors need ongoing professional nursing care, the vast majority of seniors do not want or need 24-hour care in a hospital 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 — and who can remain living in the community if the right supports are available.

"Most people want to live in their own communities, as independently as possible for as long as possible," said Veronica Doyle, Regional Director, Housing and Community Resource Development, VIHA. "This development will provide opportunities for Victoria seniors to remain close to family and friends, which benefits everyone."

The new development will be owned and managed by The Cridge Centre for the Family, a non-profit group that has been providing a range of services for families in Greater Victoria since 1874. Construction is expected to be complete by May 2006.

"The Cridge Village Seniors Centre will allow more seniors on fixed incomes, to continue living self-directed and active lives," said Mike Reynolds, President of the society's board of directors. "The building will be adjacent to our daycare centre and we're looking forward to seeing seniors and children interacting and learning from one another."

The province, through BC Housing and the ILBC program, is committed to providing 3,500 affordable apartments with support services across the province by 2006/2007. To date more than 2,900 ILBC units have been allocated, 84 per cent of the program, in communities across the province.

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $130 million by 2008 toward affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the cost of units built under this agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

Cridge Centre for the Family

groundbreaking photo:
(Left to right) Charles Ellington, Co-Chair of the Cridge capital campaign;
MLA Sheila Orr; Dr. Veronica Doyle, Vancouver Island Health Authority;
Mike Reynolds, President of the Cridge Board of Directors;
Victoria Mayor, Alan Lowe; and Lee King of CMHC.

This news release is available at www.bchousing.org online.

For further information, please contact:

Larisa Saunders
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4757
(604) 790-2344 (cellular)

Lee King
Corporate Representative
CMHC
(250) 361-6043

Keith Stewart
Executive Director
The Cridge Centre for the Family
(250) 995-6409

Suzanne Germain
VIHA Communications
(250) 370-8270

Visit the Province's web site at www.gov.bc.ca for more information.

Backgrounder

Development Facts

Location: 1190 Kings Road, Victoria

Seventy-seven units of assisted living will be created with this project; 40 of which will be funded under the province's Independent Living BC (ILBC) program. There will be six two-bedroom suites and 71 one-bedroom suites. All suites and the common areas are designed to be wheelchair accessible.

Cridge Village Seniors Centre will be located next to a daycare, thus encouraging intergenerational activities and providing for volunteer opportunities. The site has mature stands of Gary Oak trees. Walking paths, suitable also for scooters and wheelchairs, will meander around the property. In the common area will be a library that will pay tribute to the history of the Centre, a health and wellness area, an activity room and an internet café. A chapel, suitable for spiritual reflection, will also be located in the common area.

Residents in the 40 ILBC units will pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their suites. In exchange they will receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, recreational programs, assistance with medications, mobility and other care needs, and a 24-hour response system.

Society Facts

The Cridge Centre for the Family was formed in 1874 and is BC's oldest registered non-profit society. It was originally named the B.C. Protestant Orphans' Home and was a 100-bed residence designed to protect and house orphans in the Victoria area.

In the 1960s, the society took on its new name and changed its program of activities from an institution that cared for children without families to an organization offering support to families. The orphanage was converted into a daycare centre and new townhouses were built for families in economic crisis.

Today, The Cridge Centre for the Family manages four housing developments: Hill House, Macdonald House, Orillia House and the Transitional Housing program.

Partners and Funding

The capital cost for the development is $13.9 million.

  • The federal government, through CMHC, will provide approximately $1 million towards the capital costs.
  • CMHC will provide an additional grant of $360,000 through its RRAP program.
  • The province, through BC Housing, will provide approximately $4.2 million over 35 years.
  • The Cridge Centre for the Family will provide $1 million from its capital campaign and has donated the land valued at $1.69 million.
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority will provide funding for personal care and hospitality services, valued at approximately $800,000 per year.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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