UCLUELET, British Columbia, October 21, 2005 — Seniors on the west coast of Vancouver Island will soon have access to more housing and health options after today's official groundbreaking ceremony for 10 new units of seniors' housing.
The units are funded under Independent Living BC, a partnership between the provincial and federal governments, local health authorities, non-profit groups and the private sector. In this case, the Sea View Seniors' Housing Society is the local non-profit partner.
"This housing development will enable seniors to remain in the neighbourhood, within their community and have access to safe and affordable housing," said the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry on behalf of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of Labour and Housing. "This project is a good example of strong partnership between the various levels of government and our local partners."
The Sea View Seniors' Housing Society assisted living development is the first of its kind for the west coast of Vancouver Island.
"The Independent Living BC program is helping the Province fulfil its commitment to house and care for seniors across the province," said Nanaimo–Parksville MLA Ron Cantelon. "These 10 units mean that seniors won't have to relocate because their care needs have changed."
The 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 federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), provides funding to cover capital costs and BC Housing provides funding to ensure that the housing remains affordable. The Vancouver Island Health Authority funds the personal care and hospitality services for the Independent Living BC units.
"The flexibility with these units will go a long way in meeting the needs of seniors and disabled persons," said Sue Abermann, director of residential services for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. "It's important that choices are available as care needs change. This development is going to provide a supportive housing option for seniors in West Coast communities."
"We are meeting the challenges of an increasing population," said District of Ucluelet Mayor Dianne St. Jacques. "These assisted living units and the supportive housing units in this development are one way to ensure that our residents have access to appropriate housing and health options as they age."
"We've worked for several years to make this assisted living development a reality," said Carl Scott, president of the Sea View Seniors' Housing Society. "We're a close community and partnerships are important to us. This development is the result of many partnerships between our Society and several levels of government."
The Province of British Columbia, through BC Housing and the Independent Living BC program, is committed to providing 3,500 affordable assisted living apartments. To date, over 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, 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.
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:
(604) 790-2344 (cell)
Senior Consultant, Marketing and Communications
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (604) 737-4162
Sea View Seniors' Housing Society
Vancouver Island Health Authority
The Sea View Seniors' Housing Society is a volunteer-run non-profit Society. The Society was formed to secure and manage affordable housing for seniors in the community. Many of board members are seniors themselves and have contributed significantly to the project throughout the development stage.
The development will be located in a new subdivision off Bay Street near Larch Road within easy walking distance to Downtown Ucluelet.
The site was dedicated to the Society by the District of Ucluelet specifically for a senior's housing project under the ILBC program. The approximate area dedicated to this project is 3.15 acres. The District is now in the process of transferring the land into the Society's ownership.
The building will include 10 one-bedroom units for seniors funded under the Independent Living BC Program. These will include a range of housing and services for seniors with a variety of support requirements. Five one-bedroom units will be independent housing units with hospitality services only, while the other five one-bedroom units will be assisted living units with both hospitality services and personal care services.
The building will be a 2 storey, wood-framed building with a small semi-commercial kitchen (meals will be prepared on site).
The development is expected to be complete by May 2006.
Partners and Funding
Total capital cost of this project is $3,450,146
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, is providing a $250,000 capital grant. In addition, the group was approved by CMHC for an interest-free proposal development loan of $25,900.
The Province of British Columbia, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $2.5 million in housing subsidies over the 35-year term of the mortgage.
The Sea View Seniors Housing Society is providing $70,000 cash towards building amenities and $3,000 as donations in kind.
The District of Ucluelet is providing the land, with a market value of approximately $325,000, as well as a $200,000 reduction in municipal fees. As part of this reduction in municipal fees, a local developer, Marine Drive Properties Ltd., has undertaken to assist the Society with preparing the site for construction, including road building, and providing municipal services to the site.
Vancouver Island Health Authority is subsidizing hospitality services and providing personal care services directly, for the five assisted living units in the project.
The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Association is providing $10,000 cash towards building amenities.