SMITHERS, British Columbia, May 23, 2006 — Federal and provincial representatives celebrated today the official groundbreaking of The Meadows, a new $4.15 million assisted living development for seniors. When complete, The Meadows, located at 1180 Alberta Street in Smithers, will house 14 one-bedroom subsidized assisted living units. The development, which is the first of its kind in Smithers, will be open to residents in 2007.
"Quality, affordable housing is a vision the Government of Canada shares with our partners for the residents of B.C.," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Projects such as The Meadows will help us ensure that our seniors continue to live active and independent lives."
The project was funded under Independent Living BC (ILBC), an innovative housing-for-health program that meets the needs of lower income seniors and people with disabilities by providing a middle option between home support and residential care. The new units will provide residents with personal care, hot meals, housekeeping, laundry services, recreational opportunities and 24-hour emergency response services.
"Providing more housing and care options for seniors is a priority, given our aging population," said Dennis MacKay, MLA for Bulkley Valley — Stikine. "We are committed to working with our partners to ensure that seniors have access to safe and affordable housing in their own communities."
Northern Health Board Member Judith Wass said "the Meadows will be a part of a range of seniors programs in Smithers, which also includes in-home health services and Bulkley Lodge's care programs."
Mayor Jim Davidson added "for seniors wanting independence and access to proper care, this development will provide opportunities to remain here in Smithers close to family and friends, which has benefits for everyone."
The Meadows is a project initiated by the Smithers Community Services Association and made possible through a partnership between federal and provincial governments through Independent Living BC. "This new addition of assisted living allows us to continue to meet the growing needs of seniors in our community," said Ron McNaughton, of the Smithers Community Services Association.
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.
Smithers Community Services Association
The development was initiated by the Smithers Community Services Association, an organization formed in 1973 for the purpose of "identifying, developing, and delivering services that improve the social resources of the community."
Capital cost of this project is $4.15 million with funding provided through: