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First Campus of Care Opens in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 17, 2005 — Vancouver's first campus of care officially opened today with 36 assisted living units targeted to seniors who are in need of affordable housing and support services.

Since 1980, Haro Park Centre, located at 845 Bute St., has been home to 64 seniors living independently and 154 seniors requiring complex care. Today's event celebrates the conversion of 36 existing independent, self-contained suites to assisted living apartments.

"The Government of Canada is committed to teaming up with our partners to help seniors and their need for affordable housing," said the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "Units such as these in Vancouver make it possible for seniors to remain close to their families and friends, and allow them to remain active in their communities."

The assisted living apartments are funded under Independent Living BC (ILBC), an innovative housing-for-health program facilitated by BC Housing in partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Vancouver Coastal Health.

"Vancouver's West End is home to many seniors who want to continue to live in this neighbourhood even as they require additional health care," said Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt. "With the opening of Haro Park Centre, the provincial government is showing that not only are we listening but responding to the needs of seniors in their own communities."

Assisted living units are self-contained apartments where tenants receive personal care and hospitality 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.

"Haro Park Centre now provides a range of housing and care options for seniors in one location, consistent with our overall strategy for community care at Vancouver Coastal Health," said Ida Goodreau, CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health. "It is a single, integrated campus of care where seniors can live independently with some support, progress to assisted living, and then move to residential care once their needs become more complex."

The campus of care model offers a range of housing and care options in one location, from independent housing to assisted living and complex care. Campuses of care minimize the transition for seniors when their care needs change. Aging in place allows couples, family members and friends to remain on the same site when their levels of care are different.

"The conversion of assisted living apartments complements the Haro Park Centre vision and allows us to meet the changing needs of our elders as they age in place," said Ronald Mon-kau, Haro Park Centre Society Board Chair. "Existing tenants in independent housing who require support to remain independent have already benefited from the campus model."

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 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 the greatest need.

FIRST CAMPUS OF CARE OPENS IN VANCOUVER

Ribbon Cutting
(Left to right) Karen Baillie, Acting Executive Director, Haro Park Centre;
Val Harrison, Community Policing Centre;
Councillor Tim Stevenson, City of Vancouver;
the Honourable Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre;
a tenant, Haro Park Centre;
the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Health Services, Province of B.C.;
Ronald Mon-kau, Board Chair, Haro Park Centre;
Lorne Mayencourt, MLA for Vancouver-Burrard;
and Ida Goodreau, President and CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
(in the back, physician at Haro Park Centre)

FIRST CAMPUS OF CARE OPENS IN VANCOUVER

(Left to right)
Karen Baillie, Acting Executive Director, Haro Park Centre;
the Honourable Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre;
the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Health Services, Province of B.C.;
and Ronald Mon-kau, Board Chair, Haro Park Centre

This news release is available at www.bchousing.org

For further information, please contact:

Naomi Brunemeyer,
BC Housing
(604) 209-0013

Donna Cairns
Vancouver Coastal Health
(604) 708-5287

Christina Wensley
Events Coordinator
CMHC-SCHL
(604) 737-4032

Sonia Rovatti
Haro Park Centre
(604) 687-5584 ext. 225

Backgrounder

Haro Park Centre

Haro Park Centre is proud of its two founding organizations. The Netherlands Association for Senior Care met in 1972 to begin planning a multi-purpose care facility in response to the urgent need of seniors in Vancouver's West End community. Then, in 1975, the Lions Gate B'nai B'rith Building Society joined in the initiative with an offer of property at Haro and Bute Streets.

Their planning and hard work came to fruition in 1980 with the opening of Haro Park Centre. The facility provided a multi-purpose 13-storey tower for subsidized housing and a four-storey 212-bed intermediate care unit. At that time, more than 300 seniors found comfortable, secure and affordable housing within the West End.

The Centre underwent a major renovation in 1992 with the creation of a Special Care Unit for individuals with cognitive impairments. At that time the care unit reduced its intermediate care capacity to the present 154 beds.

In 2004, 36 of the centre's 64 independent housing suites were renovated to become assisted living units. Tenants living in these units were temporarily relocated to a nearby apartment hotel during the conversion of their suites. All of the tenants were able to move back into their renovated units and those that were eligible for assisted living had the choice of participating in the assisted living program.

Partnership contributions for the Haro Park Centre conversion