$3.5 million seniors housing project opens in Ucluelet

    UCLUELET, BC, April 10 /CNW/ - Seniors on the West Coast of Vancouver
Island now have access to more housing and health options with today's
official opening of Forest Glen, a new $3.5 million assisted living and
supportive housing development for seniors.
    "With the opening of Forest Glen, seniors in Ucluelet will have access to
safe and supportive housing," said MP James Lunney, Member of Parliament for
Nanaimo-Alberni, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human
Resources and Social Development. "Canada's New Government is proud to be a
partner in projects like this one, because we are committed to providing
housing solutions for seniors, so that they can continue to live in their
communities with dignity and independence."
    Forest Glen is the first housing development of its kind to open on
Vancouver Island's West Coast. There are 10 units of new seniors housing,
including five units of assisted living and five units of supportive housing.
The assisted living units are funded under Independent Living BC, a housing
for health program in which the federal and provincial governments, the health
authorities and non-profit societies partner together to provide more options
for seniors in British Columbia.
    "The Province has made a commitment to house and care for seniors on the
Island and across the province," said Ron Cantelon, MLA Nanaimo - Parksville.
"The opening of Forest Glen means that seniors in Ucluelet will have their
changing care needs met in their own community."
    Assisted living units are self-contained apartments with a 24-hour
response system. Residents receive personal care services, such as
recreational opportunities and assistance with medications, housekeeping,
meals, and laundry services. The Province provides funding to ensure that the
housing remains affordable. The Vancouver Island Health Authority funds the
personal care and hospitality services for the Independent Living BC units.
    "Ucluelet residents now have more options available in their community to
support their long-term needs," said Jac Kreut, Board Chair, Vancouver Island
Health Authority. "VIHA is committed to improving access to care throughout
our service area, and this new facility increases the options for seniors on
the West Coast."
    "Forest Glen meets the needs of an increasing seniors' population that is
demanding the option of remaining close to their loved ones and the community
they know as home," said Mayor Dianne St. Jacques, District of Ucluelet. "This
new development is one way to ensure that our residents have access to
appropriate housing and health options as they age."
    "Forest Glen is an important community addition several years in the
making," said Carl Scott, president of the Sea View Seniors' Housing Society.
"We're a close community and partnerships are important to us. This
development is the result of many partnerships between our Society and levels
of government."
    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, 8,102
new and replacement beds and units have been built, including 2,984 net-new.
    The Province of British Columbia, through ILBC, 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. The Province's budget for shelters and
affordable housing is $328 million - nearly triple what it was in 2001.
    Canada's New Government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
(CMHC), 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.

    Backgrounder attached.

                                 FOREST GLEN

    Forest Glen, at 1783 St. Jacques Blvd in Ucluelet, will provide five
assisted living apartments and five supportive housing units for seniors. The
development opened in October 2006.
    The assisted living suites are funded through the Independent Living BC
program. The assisted living units are all one-bedroom units. Eligible
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.
Eligibility is determined by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
    The supportive housing units are independent apartments that receive some
combination of the services listed above. Eligibility for these units is
considered through the Sea View Seniors' Housing Society.
    The two-storey, wood-framed building includes a small semi-commercial
kitchen, where meals are prepared. It also provides a community meeting place
for various weekly activities for all local seniors.

    Partners and Funding:
    Total capital cost of this project is $3,500,146.

    -  The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing
       Corporation, provided a $250,000 capital grant. CMHC also provided an
       interest-free Proposal Development Funding (PDF) loan of $25,900.
    -  The Province of British Columbia is providing approximately
       $2.5 million in housing subsidies over the 35-year term of the
    -  The Vancouver Island Health Authority is providing an annual subsidy
       of $36,500 for hospitality and personal care services for the five
       assisted living units.
    -  The Sea View Seniors Housing Society provided $60,000 cash towards
       building amenities and $3,000 as donations in kind.
    -  The District of Ucluelet is providing the land, with a market value of
       approximately $325,000, as well as a $140,000 reduction in municipal
    -  Marine Drive Properties Ltd. contributed $60,000 for site preparation.
    -  The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Association provided $10,000
       cash towards building amenities.

    The Society
    The Sea View Seniors' Housing Society is a volunteer-run non-profit
society. The society was formed to secure and manage affordable housing for
seniors in the community. Many of the original board members were seniors
themselves and contributed significantly to the project.

For further information:

For further information: Renee Schisler, Corporate Communications, BC
Housing, (604) 439-4757, (604) 790-2344 (Cell); Carl Scott, President, Sea
View Seniors' Housing Society, (250) 726-2228; Megan Shaw, Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation (CMHC), (604) 733-4032; Suzanne Germain, Vancouver Island
Health Authority, (250) 370-8270

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