WHITE ROCK, British Columbia, November 10, 2006 — Evergreen Heights, a new 86-unit $17.5 million development for low-income seniors, officially opened its doors in White Rock today with federal, provincial and community funding partners.
"Seniors in White Rock now have more access to quality, affordable housing to meet their specific needs," 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. "Canada's new government is committed to providing housing solutions for seniors, so that they can continue to live in their communities with dignity and independence."
Evergreen Heights, the first publicly funded assisted living apartment complex in the South Surrey – White Rock community, is funded under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program, which provides low income seniors with independent accommodation that includes on-site hospitality, health and care services.
"White Rock seniors deserve housing and health options," said Hon. Gordon Hogg, Surrey – White Rock MLA. "Evergreen Heights will provide a full range of options for our seniors to help them meet their unique care and affordable housing needs in their home community."
Hogg added that these units are part of this government's commitment to provide 5,000 residential care beds, assisted living units and supportive housing units with home support by the end of 2008.
The new units are an addition to the 110 units of ILBC seniors housing and the 157 residential care bed facility currently on the Evergreen campus of care. Evergreen Heights Baptist Housing Society owns and operates the site, which includes existing independent seniors' housing as well as a residential care facility.
"Opening these assisted living units on this site completes the Evergreen campus of care," said Keith Anderson, interim CEO of Fraser Health. "A campus of care promotes easier access to health services and living arrangements that are appropriate and responsive to a senior's changing care needs."
"Providing choices for our seniors is an important part of our mission," said Linda Ingham, administrator of the Evergreen Heights Baptist Housing Society. "We're working with partners who share this goal, providing our seniors the opportunity to remain in the community as their care needs change."
The Independent Living BC program is managed by BC Housing in partnership with the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the regional health authorities. The Evergreen Heights Baptist Housing Society contributed to this development by providing both land and financial backing.
The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute more than $130 million by 2010 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.
The new Evergreen Heights assisted living development, an eight-storey 86-unit apartment building with elevators and underground parking, has 84 units funded under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program, and an additional two units operating as guest suites. The six-acre Evergreen Heights site also includes independent seniors' housing and a long-term residential care facility, and with the latest completion, becomes a full campus of care.
Currently, Evergreen Heights is funded by BC Housing for 110 units of independent seniors' housing and funded by Fraser Health for 157 residential care beds on the site. Tenants in the ILBC units will receive two meals a day, personal care services, a 24-hour response service, social and recreational opportunities, and weekly housekeeping and linen services. Housing and services will be provided at fixed rates based on tenants' after-tax income.
Capital budget is over $17 million: