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New Assisted Living Units to Benefit Vancouver Seniors

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 26, 2006 — Federal, provincial and community funding partners gathered today to celebrate the opening of the Baptist Housing Society of B.C.'s Clarendon Court, a $13.2 million assisted living development that will provide 56 new homes for Vancouver seniors.

"Canada's new government is proud to help build these new homes, which will let seniors remain close to their friends and families in the community, while receiving the special attention they deserve," said Russ Hiebert, Member of Parliament for South Surrey – White Rock – Cloverdale, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Projects like Clarendon Court are an excellent example of how all levels of government and community groups can work together to care for the vulnerable members of society."

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 a 24-hour emergency response system. Clarendon Court is the first ILBC purpose-built assisted living facility in Vancouver.

"Providing our aging population with more housing and care options is a priority," said the Honourable Wally Oppal, MLA for Vancouver – Fraserview. "Seniors should have the opportunity to access safe and affordable housing in their own communities. We are working in conjunction with our partners to ensure this."

"Today's seniors are living longer, healthier, more active lives. Assisted living provides these seniors with the opportunity to live independently, while at the same time offering assistance in areas such as medication management and an opportunity to socialize with other seniors," said Linda Thomas, Director of Housing for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Mayor Sam Sullivan added, "Clarendon Court will have a positive impact on the Vancouver community by offering seniors the opportunity to age in the neighbourhood they call home, close to family and friends."

Larry Nelson, CEO of the Baptist Housing Society of B.C., says his organization is happy Clarendon Court will add to the range of affordable housing options for seniors in the Vancouver community. "Our mission is to provide excellent quality and care to seniors," he says. "Clarendon Court's assisted living allows us to continue to meet this growing need."

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute more than $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.

Media Contact:

Laura Kohli
Communications Specialist
BC Housing
604 439-8583
604-805-4960 (mobile)
Christina Wensley
Communications
CMHC
604-737-4032
Donna Cairns
Regional Communications Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
604-708-5287
Larry Nelson
CEO
Baptist Housing Society of B.C.
604-940-1960 Ext. 107

Backgrounder

Clarendon Court, located at 6404 Clarendon Street in Vancouver houses 56 one-bedroom subsidized assisted living units, as well as five market suites. All the assisted living units in the four-storey complex are wheelchair accessible. Clarendon Court is the first purpose-built facility under the Independent Living BC program in Vancouver and opened to residents in February 2006.

Tenants receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, personal care services and social and recreational opportunities. The facility is in close proximity to other seniors' apartments, a seniors' centre, shopping and medical offices.

The Baptist Housing Society of B.C., a member of Baptist Housing Ministries, manages this facility. The Society was founded by Dr. Jack Pickford in 1964 when he recognized the need for housing among the elderly within their own communities. Now in its 42nd year, Baptist Housing Ministries has grown to approximately 1,400 residents in 13 seniors' communities in several locations across the province. The Society has several other developments in B.C. that are partially funded by BC Housing and CMHC.

The capital cost of this project is $13.2 million, with funding provided through: