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First Assisted Living Developments for Haida Gwaii

QUEEN CHARLOTTE-HAIDA GWAII, British Columbia, July 18, 2007 — Construction is underway on a $1.8 million, four-unit development in Queen Charlotte City and a $1 million four-unit development in Masset that will provide the first units of assisted living for seniors and young adults with disabilities on Haida Gwaii.

“Canada’s New Government is committed to making affordable housing more available in British Columbia and across Canada,” said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. “With the opening of this project, seniors on Haida Gwaii will now have access to quality, affordable housing and the services they need to meet their specific needs, while remaining close to their families and friends.”

The assisted living homes will be funded under the Independent Living BC program, a housing-for-health program in which the federal and provincial governments, the regional health authority and non-profit societies partner together to provide more housing and care options for seniors. They will be self-contained apartments with a 24-hour response system. Residents will receive personal care services, such as recreational opportunities and assistance with medications, housekeeping, meals, and laundry services.

The federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is providing a capital grant through the Canada – BC Affordable Housing Program Agreement and Seed Funding for the Queen Charlotte City development and a one-time grant for the Masset Health Care development. The Province is providing a one-time grant and will provide a housing subsidy for the Queen Charlotte City development to ensure that the housing remains affordable.

“These developments ensure that islanders will have access to quality support services while enjoying their independence,” said Rich Coleman, Minister responsible for Housing. “The province is committed to providing affordable assisted-living homes for seniors and disabled adults in communities all over B.C. and it’s great that construction has started on two projects on Haida Gwaii.”

Northern Health will provide ongoing funding for personal care services and hospitality services to ensure tenants have access to the healthcare support they need to remain independent for both developments. In Masset, Northern Health will also directly manage the development.

“Northern Health’s goal is to provide a range of services for seniors across the region, and these new assisted developments will help Queen Charlotte Island seniors remain as independent as possible while still having their care needs met,” said Rowena Holoien, Northern Health’s Northwest chief operating officer.

“We believe that our seniors should have a place to live when their care needs change,” said Debbie McMillan, President, Queen Charlottes Housing Development Society. “Seeing construction start on these assisted living units is a community success; to assist our seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life for as long as possible.”

“The assisted living units will enrich the lives of our seniors in the Village of Queen Charlotte,” said Mayor Carol Kulesha. “It is important to ensure our seniors have the choice to live in the same community they have called home.”

“Masset is in great need of a development that will allow our aging population and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to receive the housing and health support they need, with family and friends close by,” said Village of Masset Mayor Barry Pages. “This is a milestone for our community and we’re thrilled to see construction underway.”

These new units are part of the British Columbia Government’s commitment to provide 5,000 net-new residential care beds, assisted living units, and supportive housing with home support units by the end of 2008. To date, 8,494 new and replacement beds and units have been built, including 3,196 net-new.

The Province of British Columbia is committed to providing more than 4,000 affordable assisted living apartments for B.C. seniors and persons with disabilities. To date, more than 3,900 have been allocated in communities across the province — nearly triple what it was in 2001.

Canada’s New Government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute more than $130 million by 2010 towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government provides 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

For more information, please contact:

Renee Schisler
Events Coordinator
BC Housing
604-439-4757

Megan Shaw
Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation
604-737-4032

Mark Karjaluoto
Northern Health
250-565-2694

Debbie McMillan
President
Queen Charlottes Housing
Development Society
250-559-8312

Backgrounder

Masset Assisted Living Development

The new development at 2520 Harrison Avenue in Masset, will provide four units of assisted living for seniors and young adults with disabilities under the Independent Living BC program.

Northern Health will operate the development, and provide personal care and hospitality services. The one-storey wood-frame building has four one-bedroom assisted living units. Residents pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units and services, which include meals, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour response, personal care services, and social and recreational opportunities. Northern Health is constructing a new Health Centre adjacent to the site.

Partners and Funding:

Capital cost of this project is $1.02 million.

Queen Charlottes Housing Development Society

The new development at 306 — 2nd Avenue in Queen Charlotte City, will provide four units of assisted living for seniors under the Independent Living BC program. Construction started in May 2007 and is scheduled to open to residents in October 2007.

The one-storey building will have four one-bedroom assisted living units. Residents will pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units and services, which include meals, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour response, personal care services, and social and recreational opportunities.

Partners and Funding:

Capital cost of this project is $1.8 million.

Queen Charlottes Housing Development Society

The Society was incorporated in 2005 with the purpose of developing and operating affordable assisted and supportive housing for the residents of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The Queen Charlotte project is the Society’s first housing project, however their sister society, the Queen Charlottes Heritage Housing Society owns and operates the 10-unit Heritage House in Queen Charlotte and three homes of affordable family housing.