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30 New Assisted Living Units for Gulf Islands

SALT SPRING ISLAND, British Columbia, July 11, 2005 — Gulf Island seniors in need of affordable housing with support will continue to call Salt Spring Island home with the construction of 30 assisted living units adjacent to the Greenwoods Intermediate Care Facility on Blain Road. This $7.7 million project is funded in part under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement. The Gulf Islands community and the project partners were invited to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony today.

"The new housing units inaugurated today will provide seniors with a quality environment that will allow them to stay in their community, near their families and friends," said the Honourable Keith Martin, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Housing is a priority for the Government of Canada, and we are pleased to work in cooperation with the Government of British Columbia, the municipality, and community sector representatives to provide more people with better housing in their community."

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. Salt Spring Island is a popular retirement community. The number of seniors is growing steadily and, by 2006, the number of people over age 80 will rise to about 800.

"The Greenwoods Assisted Living Residence is a great example of a non-profit group working with government, and other partners, to provide more services for our seniors," said Murray Coell, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and the Minister of Advanced Education. "Partnerships like this allow us to give seniors more choices for independent, affordable housing with ready access to support services when needed."

Once completed, the Greenwoods Assisted Living Residence will provide 30 homes for low to moderate income seniors Southern Gulf Island seniors who can no longer live independently, but who do not want or need 24-hour residential care. Residents will receive hospitality services, such as meals, housekeeping and laundry services, recreational opportunities, and personal care services such as assistance with medications, mobility and other care needs, as well as a 24-hour response system.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has provided the land and necessary site and land improvement funding and will provide ongoing funding for the personal care services and subsidies towards the hospitality services.

"The goal of assisted living is to promote greater independence and delays the need for complex care," said Howard Waldner, President and CEO, Vancouver Island Health Authority. "Giving seniors the choice to stay in their home communities is essential in maintaining their health."

The project also includes renovations to the kitchen area of Greenwoods Care Facility to prepare the meals for assisted living residents. Additional capital funding is also coming from the Capital Regional District.

"The introduction of assisted living in the community gives us another important option to support our seniors", said Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director and Capital Regional District board member. "It allows the seniors in the Southern Gulf Islands to remain here, close to their family and friends, in a place suited to their needs."

Greenwoods Assisted Living Residence will be owned and managed by the Greenwoods Eldercare Society (formerly known as the Gulf Islands Intermediate Care Society). The society has strong links with the community and provides exceptional service to the elderly residents of the island. The Greenwoods Foundation is running the fundraising campaign to raise the necessary additional funds for the development.

"There are very limited supportive housing options for seniors in our community" said Don Hartwig, Board Chair of the Greenwoods Eldercare Society. "The need for these assisted living homes is tremendous. Greenwoods is part of the solution."

The Province, through BC Housing and the Independent Living BC program, is committed to providing 3,500 affordable assisted living apartments across the province by 2006/2007. To date over 3,080 ILBC units have been allocated, or 87 per cent of the program, in communities across the province.

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $130 million by 2008 towards 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.

This news release is available online at

For further information, please contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4758
(604) 209-0013 (cellular)
Don Hartwig
Greenwoods Eldercare Society
(250) 537-2348
Christina Wensley
Events Coordinator
(604) 737-4032
Suzanne Germain
VIHA Communications
(250) 370-8270

Backgrounder — Greenwoods Eldercare Society

The Greenwoods Eldercare Society has been a community leader in providing care for the elderly since 1979. The society provides a wide range of services from its existing seniors' facility, Greenwoods Care Facility, a residential care facility for 50 residents. Programs include:

a) the Adult Day Program, which operates out of Greenwoods
b) Community Bathing Program
c) Respite Care Program
d) Meals on Wheels Program
e) Residential care and Palliative care

The Society also participates actively in community services such as the Elderly Outreach Program and the Palliative Care Advisory Committee. The Society's aim is to provide residents with the opportunity to maintain, or improve to, a maximum level of independence by staying as physically and mentally active as possible. The interests, rights and dignity of each person are always respected.

Development Facts

The assisted living property is located on the north-west corner of the Lady Minto hospital lands. The new development will be immediately adjacent to the Greenwoods residential care building. The new assisted living building will consist of 30 new units and the project will also include a significant renovation to the kitchen area of the existing Greenwoods facility. Meals for the assisted living residents will be prepared in the future renovated kitchen and served in the dining room of assisted living development.

Tenants will pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units and receive hospitality and personal care services, such as meals, housekeeping and laundry, recreational programs, assistance with medications, mobility and other care needs, and a 24-hour response system.

Construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2006.

Partners and Funding

  • Capital cost of this project is $7.7 million.
  • The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is providing a $1.5 million capital grant.
  • The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide a housing subsidy of $4.272 million over 35 years.
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority will provide funding of $550,000 annually for the personal care and part of the hospitality services to tenants.
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority is also providing land and site improvements for a total of $663,000.
  • The Capital Regional District is contributing $123,000 in capital grants.
  • The Greenwoods Eldercare Society, in partnership with the Greenwoods Foundation has a fundraising goal of $350,000.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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