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Campus of Care Begins Construction

VERNON, British Columbia, September 24, 2005 — Construction of Good Samaritan Canada’s new campus of care began today at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the $9.4 million assisted living development. The development, funded in part under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, through Independent Living BC, will provide 38 subsidized assisted living units, plus 15 life lease and two market rental assisted living units for seniors in the Vernon area.

"The development of this project will allow seniors in Vernon to live in a quality environment at an affordable cost," said the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Shelter is one of the foundations upon which healthy communities and individual dignity are built. We are pleased to work with our partners in British Columbia to provide more seniors with better housing in their community."

The 38 subsidized assisted living apartments, combined with the 15 life lease and two market rental assisted living units and 75 residential care beds announced by Interior Health in August 2005, will create a campus of care for Vernon’s seniors.

"Vernon seniors should be able to live independently as long as possible in housing they can afford and enjoy, and when their care needs change, they should be able to stay in the same place," said Tom Christensen, MLA for Okanagan–Vernon. "This development is one of many across the province that will help seniors do just that."

Assisted living units are self-contained apartments where residents receive hospitality and personal care services, such as meals, housekeeping and laundry, recreational opportunities, assistance with medications, mobility and other care needs, as well as a 24-hour response system. The apartments provide a middle option between living at home with support and residential care. BC Housing provides funding to make sure the housing remains affordable to tenants. Interior Health will fund the personal care services.

"We are improving the way in which we traditionally provide care to our seniors by offering more options to promote choice and independence, such as assisted living," said Alan Dolman, Interior Health board chair. "This new campus will allow seniors to age in place and Interior Health is committed to bringing choice to seniors where they live."

"Vernon has a high population of seniors that call this area their home," said City of Vernon Acting Mayor Barry Beardsell. "The needs of our seniors’ population are changing. The Good Samaritan campus of care addresses a key need for our community."

"These 38 affordable assisted living units are just the beginning of a campus of care designed to allow seniors to live in their own communities as independently as possible, which defines quality of life for many of them," said Phil Gaudet, President and CEO, The Good Samaritan Society. "And if their care needs increase, additional services will be available to them with the 75 units of residential care."

The Province of British Columbia, through BC Housing’s Independent Living BC program, is committed to providing 3,500 affordable assisted living apartments across the province. To date over 3,200 Independent Living BC units, or 92 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 BC 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 a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

For more information, please contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer
Communications Specialist
BC Housing
(604) 209-0013
Lucia Su
CMHC
(604) 619-1706
Cathy Renkas
Communications Officer
Interior Health
(250) 862-8394
(250) 862-7228 (cellular)
Joanne Dusterbeck
Director of Communications
Good Samaritan Canada
(780) 431-3706

Backgrounder

Vernon Campus Of Care

Good Samaritan Canada

Good Samaritan Canada, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, has over 55 years experience in providing continuing care, assisted living and other specialized health care services and facilities in an innovative and caring environment. It is one of the largest voluntary health care providers in Canada.

The Society was created in 1949 and built its first facility, a long-term care hospital, in 1955. Subsequent expansion within Alberta and British Columbia to include continuing care, assisted living and supportive housing facilities for seniors, as well as purpose-built homes for persons with development disabilities.

The Society has played a key role in the development of new and innovative programs — ones that are becoming industry standards across Canada.

Assisted Living Details

The development will have 38 one-bedroom units of assisted living seniors housing. The building will be a 3-storey wood-framed structure with two elevators. It will also include 15 life lease and 2 market rental assisted living units.

Capital cost of this project is $9.4 million (including the market and life lease units)

Partners and Funding:

  • The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is providing a $950,000 capital grant.
  • The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide housing subsidies of $4.2 million over 35 years.
  • Interior Health will provide funding for the personal care services to tenants.
  • The City of Vernon is providing reductions on various development costs. The value of its contribution is approximately $110,663.
  • Good Samaritan Canada is providing $49,315 towards the subsidized assisted living.
  • St. John’s Lutheran Housing is providing $300,000 towards the two market rental assisted living units.
    Residential Care

In August 2005, Interior Health announced the creation of 75 new residential care beds on the same site with Good Samaritan Canada, completing the campus of care model.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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