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New Assisted Living Units for Seniors in Fort St. John

FORT ST. JOHN, British Columbia, June 3, 2006 — Heritage Manor II, a $5.8 million development that will provide assisted-living units for Fort St. John seniors, was announced today by federal, provincial and local partners at a groundbreaking ceremony.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to work with our partners to provide seniors in B.C. with better housing in their community, and to ensure that they enjoy a high quality of life," said the Honourable Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George — Peace River, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.

"B.C. seniors need options that allow them to stay in the communities they've invested their lives in," said Minister Richard Neufeld, MLA Peace River North. "By providing assisted living on land adjacent to an existing seniors' housing development, we are creating a campus of care and giving seniors in Fort St. John more options."

Heritage Manor II will be built adjacent to the existing Heritage Manor, and will provide 24 new assisted living units, which are self-contained apartments where residents can receive hospitality and personal care services, such as meals, housekeeping and laundry service. Recreational opportunities, assistance with medications, and other care needs are also available, as is a 24-hour response system. The apartments provide a middle option between independent living and residential care.

"Assisted living offers a middle option between home care and the residential care service at the North Peach Care Centre. Northern Health is working closely with partner agencies to add new assisted living units across Northern British Columbia to better support seniors in our region," said Dr. John Gentles, a member of Northern Health's board.

The new units are funded under the Independent Living BC program (ILBC), an innovative housing-for-health program in partnership with the Federal Government though Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Province, through BC Housing and the Northern Health.

"Heritage Manor II will be a great addition to Fort St. John and will improve the quality of life for our seniors," said Councillor Don Irwin on behalf of Fort St. John Mayor, Jim Eglinski. Irwin added that the city was able to partner in a unique way on this development, by providing the land to Northern Health after the local homeless shelter on the property had been relocated to the new Salvation Army Care and Share Centre at an increased capacity.

The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, through the Independent Living BC program, are committed to providing affordable assisted living apartments for B.C. seniors and persons with disabilities. To date, more than 3,500 units have been allocated in communities across the province.

Contact:

Larisa Saunders
Corporate Communications
BC Housing
604-439-4757
604-505-4156 (cell)

Lorraine Verokosky
Regional Manager
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
778-772-0245

Mark Karjaluoto
Northern Health
250-565-2964

Heritage Manor II

Development Facts

When complete, Heritage Manor II, located at 9819 107th Avenue, Fort St. John, will house 24-units of assisted living. The development will be adjacent to an existing 35-unit independent seniors' housing development currently managed by BC Housing. The new assisted living development will be built on land previously owned by the City of Fort St. John which has since been donated to Northern Health and cleared for the development of this assisted living building.

Heritage Manor II will be attached to the independent seniors' housing development by way of an enclosed walkway. This assisted living development will provide an additional option for seniors bridging the gap between home care and residential care. The three-story wood frame structure will also have on elevator, making access easier for many residents.

Assisted living has been identified as a need in Fort St. John and Heritage Manor II, with its 24 new units, is an example of how all three levels of government can work together to create housing and care options for seniors. The capital cost of this project is $5,806,974. Funding partners include: