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Westbank Lions Opens 40 Assisted Living Units

WESTBANK, British Columbia, April 21, 2006 — The official opening of Westbank Lions Manor, a new $6.5 million development that provides affordable apartments and support services for seniors, was announced today at a ceremony attended by federal, provincial and community funding partners.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to affordable housing, and to helping seniors live independently" said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety and MP for Okanagan — Coquihalla, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

Westbank Lions Manor, a 40-unit assisted living development funded under Independent Living BC (ILBC), is run by the Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society. These apartments add to the range of housing and care options currently available to seniors who are living longer, healthier lives by providing a middle option between home support and residential care.

"I want to congratulate and thank all the members and board of the Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society for their outstanding dedication and commitment to this wonderful new facility that allows older people who need assistance to stay independent and remain part of their community," said Rick Thorpe, MLA for Okanagan — Westside. "Independent Living BC was established to provide seniors with a choice of housing and health care options as their needs change, and this innovative housing-for-health program makes that possible."

"We have heard from seniors that safe housing options are needed to allow them to live independently for as long as they can," said Alan Dolman, board chair of Interior Health. "In addition to assistance with medications and mobility, social and recreational opportunities for residents will improve their overall health."

"Many seniors in the Okanagan have spent a large part of their lives in this region," said Aaron Dinwoodie, vice chair of the Central Okanagan Regional District. "This development addresses a need in our community for those who require assistance and affordable housing, but want to stay in their own community."

"The Westbank Lions Manor helps us realize our commitment to providing affordable housing to seniors," said Ken Werner, treasurer of the Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society. "These assisted living apartments will enable seniors in Westbank to live independently with a little extra help when they need it."

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 — BC Affordable Housing Agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

Contact:

Cory Daubenfeld
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4758
(604) 209-0013 (cell)
Nelson Merizzi
General Manager, BC Region
SCHL
(604) 341-0970 (cell)

Cathy Renkas
Communications
Interior Health
(250) 862-8394

Renee Baldwin
General Manager
Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society
(250) 768-9590

Backgrounder

The Westbank Lions Manor houses 40 one-bedroom subsidized assisted living units, located at 3715 Gellatly Road in Westbank. All the assisted living units in the three-storey complex are wheelchair accessible and include balconies. Construction was completed and opened to residents in October 2005.

Tenants receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, personal care services and social and recreational opportunities.

The Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society manages this facility, as well as an adjacent subsidized seniors' independent living housing development. The existing 40-unit complex is linked to the new ILBC development via a corridor that allows current residents access to support services on an as-needed basis. The society was formed in 1988 to provide the seniors of Westbank with affordable housing options.

The capital cost of this project is $6.5 million, with funding provided through:

  • A $1-million grant from the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC);
  • $4.5 million over 35 years from BC Housing and the Province in housing subsidies;
  • $763,000 annually from Interior Health for estimated personal care services;
  • $114,400 in reductions on development costs from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan; and
  • $550,000 in land and more than $125,000 in sponsorship contributions from the Westbank Lions Seniors Housing Society.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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