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Next Phase of Campus of Care Breaks Ground in Poco

PORT COQUITLAM, British Columbia, November 18, 2005 — Another phase in the redevelopment of a Port Coquitlam seniors' housing complex broke ground today, with construction starting on 70 affordable assisted living units.

Once complete, the Hawthorne Seniors Care Community will include 70 units of assisted living, 56 new cottage-style dementia care beds and 75 residential care beds. The facility will also include an adult day program.

The project, a partnership between the Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens' Housing Society, Fraser Health, BC Housing, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), involves a combination of new construction and facility renovations that will provide a campus of care for seniors in Port Coquitlam. The redevelopment project is being completed in phases, in order to best support tenants and residents currently living on site.

"These facilities will allow seniors in the Port Coquitlam area to live in a quality environment with a range of services to meet their evolving needs," said the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), and MP 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 assisted living units are funded under the Independent Living BC program, a housing-for-health program in which partners — the provincial government through BC Housing and the health authorities, the federal government through CMHC, and non-profit societies like the Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens' Housing Society — work together to provide more options for seniors in British Columbia.

"British Columbia wants to provide the best possible system of support for seniors," said Health Minister George Abbott. "The Hawthorne Seniors Care Community is an excellent example of how the Province can work in partnership to provide a wider, more appropriate range of housing options for seniors in the Tri-Cities."

Assisted living units 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 Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens' Housing Society has a long-standing commitment to providing housing and care options to seniors in the Tri-Cities," said Marc Pelletier, Fraser Health`s Vice President of Clinical Support, Health Protection and Systems Evaluation. "This is a major project. The society is renewing many of the community's current housing and care assets and redeveloping, providing a more modern continuum of care and increasing options for seniors."

"As a city, one of our priorities is to ensure a variety of residential options are available to meet the needs of our residents," said Scott Young, Mayor of Port Coquitlam. "The campus of care is a first in our community and it supports those objectives by expanding the options for a key segment of our population - our seniors."

"These 70 assisted living units are part of a larger vision for seniors' housing and care," said Frank Findlay, board chair of the Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens' Housing Society. "Seniors need options, and they need to know that, as their care needs change, we can respond. This campus of care is going to allow us to respond better to such changes."

The Province of British Columbia is committed to providing 3,500 assisted living apartments. To date, more than 3,200 ILBC units, or 92 per cent, have been allocated 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 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.

Today's announcement reflects the B.C. government's goal of providing the best system of support in Canada for seniors. The Province's September Budget Update provided an additional $242 million over three years to improve the lives of seniors, including: renewing the Seniors' Supplement, to provide a monthly benefit for approximately 40,000 low income seniors; doubling annual funding for the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program; and updating existing seniors' health facilities and strengthening and modernizing the full range of services for seniors, to help them live as independently as possible.

For more information, please contact:

Larisa Saunders
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4757
(604) 790-2344 (cell)
Christina Wensley
Event Co-ordinator
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(604) 737-4032
Lenore Pickering
Executive Director
Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens Housing Society
(604) 468-5003
Don MacLachlan
Director of Public Relations
Fraser Health
(604) 587-4636
(604) 807-1296 (cell)

Visit the Province`s website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services.

Backgrounder

The Society

The Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens' Housing Society has been operating since 1958 and provides a wide range of services to seniors in the Tri-Cities. The society operates a long-term residential care facility including an existing extended care unit and "new build" cottages.

The Development

The assisted living units are part of a larger scale redevelopment project that will result in a full-scale campus of care expected to be complete by the spring of 2006.

When complete, the campus of care will include the following:

  • 70 units of assisted living
  • 56 new cottage-style dementia care beds
  • 75 residential care beds, and
  • An adult day program.

The original 78 units, which contained 155 residential care beds, were vacated to allow for demolition and conversion. The site is approximately 5.1 acres. The property is owned by the Society. The 70 units of assisted living will include 10 one-bedroom suites and 60 studio apartments.

Partners and Funding:

Under the Canada–BC Affordable Housing Agreement, the society was awarded a $3.5-million grant. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will provide this grant, administered through BC Housing. BC Housing has also contributed to the development through expertise in development processes. Fraser Health will provide $1,060,000 of annual funding for the personal care services. The society has provided $1,839,356 in land equity and approximately $2 million in cash.

Larisa Saunders
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4757
(604) 790-2344 (cell)
Christina Wensley
Event Co-ordinator
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(604) 737-4032
Lenore Pickering
Executive Director
Port Coquitlam Senior Citizens Housing Society
(604) 468-5003
Don MacLachlan
Director of Public Relations
Fraser Health
(604) 587-4636
(604) 807-1296 (cell)

Visit the Province`s website at www.gov.bc.ca for online information and services.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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