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Victoria Seniors' Housing Health Complex Opens

VICTORIA, British Columbia, March 30, 2006 — The Hillside Terrace and the Hillside Seniors' Health Centre, a new $15.08 million seniors' housing health complex, opened today in Victoria. This new housing complex will provide seniors with affordable housing, health care services and a caregiver respite hotel, under one roof.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of all the funding partners. Hillside Terrace and Hillside Seniors' Health Centre contains 45 units of supportive seniors housing, a primary health-care centre for adults over 55, the 12-bed Piercy Respite Hotel, and the Yakimovich Wellness Centre, which offers education, counselling and other wellness programs. The facility is located next to the Aberdeen Hospital and is the latest addition to the Victoria Cool Aid Society's housing services.

"The provincial government is committed to working in partnership with non-profit societies, the private sector and all levels of government to provide better housing and health care options to seniors," said Minister of Community Services and minister responsible for seniors' Ida Chong. "This development meets two of our key objectives — providing homes for Victoria seniors at risk of homelessness and accessible, appropriate health care services for seniors who don't have family doctors."

This multi-partnership initiative was made possible with contributions from the federal and provincial governments under the Canada — British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Capital Regional Hospital District, and private donations through the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation and the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation.

"This housing health complex enables seniors to continue to live in their community, near their families and friends, and ensures that they have access to the care they need so they can enjoy a high quality of life," said CMHC's Lee King.

The Victoria Cool Aid Society developed the Hillside Terrace housing units, and will manage the units for low-income seniors in need of affordable housing with support services.

"Cool Aid and its partners are working towards increasing the health and well being of all community members — including those most marginalized," said Kathy Stinson, Executive Director of Victoria Cool Aid Society. "Hillside Terrace allows us to meet the needs of low-income seniors by building upon the past successes of our healthcare, housing and shelter services."

"One of the top priorities outlined in our five-year strategic plan is to enhance the number and quality of services we provide to our elderly citizens," said Howard Waldner, CEO of the Vancouver Island Health Authority. "The combination of affordable housing, support services and onsite health care services and wellness programs at this facility will greatly improve the quality of life for many of our most vulnerable seniors and their families."

The respite hotel and community health centre, which will assist family caregivers and help seniors maintain their independence in the community, were funded by private donors through the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation's Together We Care capital campaign and the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation.

"Seeing this project become a reality reinforces the generosity of this community," said Leslee Farrell, Chair Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation. "The incredible support and compassion of Greater Victoria residents made this project — and others — possible."

"Our partnership with the Greater Victoria Hospitals Foundation to raise funds for seniors support and care through Together We Care was immensely successful," said Linda Jones, president of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation. "This is truly a dream come true, and we are so excited to offer these services to seniors in our community."

"The Capital Regional Hospital District is pleased to be part of this project," said Alan Lowe, mayor of Victoria and vice-chair of the Capital Regional Hospital District. "The services provided in this building will improve the ability of our communities to support our seniors."

Under the Canada – British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the Government of Canada, through CMHC, will contribute $130 million towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the costs of units built under this agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.

Larisa Saunders
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
(604) 439-4757
(604) 790-2344 (cell)

Lee King
Corporate Representative
CMHC
(250) 361-6043 (cell)

Suzanne Germain
Media & Issues Advisor
Vancouver Island Health Authority
(250) 370-8270

Backgrounder

Victoria Seniors' Housing, Health Complex

Hillside Seniors' Health Centre
1455 Hillside Avenue, Victoria

Funding:

Hillside Terrace
1460 Hillside Avenue, Victoria

Funding