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New Affordable Housing for Vancouver's Seniors

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, September 16, 2005 — A new $13.6 million housing development to provide 57 assisted living units for seniors started construction today. The Salvation Army's Southview Lodge project is funded in part under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement.

The Federal Government, through CMHC, will provide $1.4 million in funding to cover capital costs and BC Housing will provide an ongoing subsidy of $7.8 million over 35 years to ensure that the housing remains affordable. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority will provide funding for personal care services to ensure that the health care needs of the tenants are met.

"The Government of Canada believes that healthy communities are vital to our personal and national well-being," said the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Through CMHC, we are providing cities, such as Vancouver, with a range of tools to create and preserve affordable housing. Projects such as these will allow seniors in the city to stay close to family and friends in their community."

The new assisted living apartments at Southview Heights are funded under Independent Living B.C. (ILBC), an innovative housing-for-health program for seniors and people with disabilities. Assisted living homes are self-contained apartments with a 24-hour response system. Residents receive personal care services, such as recreational opportunities and assistance with medications, housekeeping, meals, and laundry services.

"The provincial government is committed to providing subsidized housing across the province," said Vancouver-Fraserview MLA, Wally Oppal. "Assisted living epitomizes the provincial philosophy that affordable housing should provide flexibility and choice."

In combination with the assisted living development, Vancouver Coastal Health is also providing an on site ambulatory care clinic. The clinic provides accessible nursing services to individuals living in the neighbourhood, making it easier for them to access medical services.

"Assisted living is just one of the housing options provided to seniors under VCH's Community Care Network," said Maureen Whyte, chief operating officer for Vancouver Community, Vancouver Coastal Health. "By having a nursing ambulatory care clinic on this site, we're able to bring nursing services right to the home of seniors who need it."

Many seniors and people with disabilities live on a fixed income. "Affordable housing is a priority for the City of Vancouver," said Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver. "Southview Lodge will provide safe and secure homes for our city's seniors with the services that they need."

The Salvation Army first opened the Southview Lodge, a residential care facility on the site in 1975. The changing demand for more independent housing options for seniors who require some care, resulted in the lodge not running at full capacity. This led the Salvation Army to the decision to replace the care facility with assisted living to further its mandate to provide affordable services to seniors.

"The Salvation Army strongly believes housing is a social determinant of health," said Lieutenant Colonel Donald J. Copple, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army British Columbia. "We are pleased to add assisted living to our array of existing services and believe that it will have positive health outcomes for our seniors allowing them to live independently for as long as possible."

The ILBC program is 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 Vancouver also contributed to Southview Heights, making it a collaborative venture between all three levels of government. The Salvation Army has provided significant equity towards the project and is involved in ongoing fundraising efforts.

The Province of British Columbia, through BC Housing and Independent Living BC, is committed to providing 3,500 affordable assisted living apartments across the province. To date, over 3,199 ILBC units, or 90 per cent, have been allocated in communities across the province.

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute $130 million by 2008 towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through B.C. Housing, will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the cost of units built under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, as part of its strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

For further information, please contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer,
B.C. Housing
Communications Specialist
(604) 209-0013 (cellular)

Viviana Zanocco
Senior Issues Management Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health
(604) 708-5282 (cellular)

Captain John Murray
Division Secretary for Public Relations
The Salvation Army
(604) 551-5388 (cellular)

Christina Wensley
Regional Events Coordinator
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(604) 737-4032

Backgrounder

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is the largest non-governmental social service agency in the province. It has vast experience in social service programs including housing and shelter. The B.C. division's operating budget is $75 million.

The Salvation Army has been a vital part of Vancouver since the city's birth. The first ministry opened on the edge of Chinatown in 1887. In 1950 the B.C. headquarters was opened in downtown Vancouver. Today, the Army estimates almost one-third of British Columbians have been touched by its work in some way.

Development

Southview Lodge will be a three-storey complex with 57 one-bedroom subsidized assisted living apartments with an ambulatory care centre.

Construction is scheduled for completion by July 2006 with residents moving in during the month of August, 2006.

Tenants receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, personal care services and social and recreational opportunities. Tenants pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units.

Southview Lodge is ideally situated in South Vancouver with easy access to the Lower Mainland. It is next door to shopping at Champlain Mall, nearby to the Killarney recreational centre, a few blocks away from Fraserview Golf Course, and steps away from public transit.

Partners and Funding:

Capital cost of this project is $13.6 million

Partners and Funding:

  • The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is providing a $1.4 million capital grant.
  • The provincial government, through B.C. Housing, will provide housing subsidy of $7.8 million over 35 years.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health will provide personal care services to clients at an annual cost of approximately $753,000, as well as funding the $14,600 in annual costs for the lease of the ambulatory clinic.
  • The City of Vancouver is providing reductions on various development costs. The value of the contribution is approximately $290,000.
  • The Salvation Army is providing the land at $3.4 million.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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