KELOWNA - The governments of Canada and British Columbia gathered to celebrate the official opening of Apple Valley, a new 72-unit housing development for seniors and persons with disabilities in Kelowna.
"I was pleased to have participated in the groundbreaking of Apple Valley in 2009, and I am delighted to be back to celebrate this important milestone with the Society of Hope and our other partners," said Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "Our federal investments are helping Kelowna seniors who need quality, affordable housing that meets their needs."
"Our government's investment in Apple Valley is a testament to our commitment to increasing the number of affordable housing options for seniors," said Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. "These apartments are located close to shops and additional conveniences, which will allow residents easier access to services in our community."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal and provincial governments contributed to a combined total of approximately $3.9 million for the construction of 36 Seniors' Rental Housing apartments within Apple Valley. The Province of British Columbia also provided over $9.4 million in interim financing for the construction phase of the development and arranged long term financing of $5.3 million upon building completion.
The City of Kelowna reduced the development cost charges for this project. The Society of HOPE, who operates and manages the building, provided the land valued at $1.1 million, and approximately $1.5 million in cash equity toward the non-residential portions of the building.
"The City of Kelowna is a proud supporter of new seniors housing projects like Apple Valley," said Mayor Sharon Shepherd, City of Kelowna. "As a result, our local seniors now have even greater affordable housing choices within our community."
The Society of HOPE is a non-profit organization that has been providing quality, affordable housing to low-income residents in the Central Okanagan since 1989.
"This project has been 15 years in the making and we are very proud of all the partnerships that made the opening of Apple Valley a reality," said Lorne Gerber, president for the Society of HOPE. "Our goal was to provide affordable housing to our senior residents and provide them with great recreational amenities on site, allowing them to continue living an active and engaged lifestyle."
The Seniors' Rental Housing initiative is a result of a $365-million joint investment under an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, which included funding through Canada's Economic Action Plan and by the government of British Columbia. This initiative, first announced by the two levels of government on April 8, 2009, provided $123.6 million, including $104 million for seniors and $19.6 million for persons with disabilities, to develop approximately 1,300 new affordable rental housing units, which is helping to stimulate local economies in smaller communities across B.C. Under terms of the agreement, the provincial and federal governments provided matching contributions of $61.8 million.
Canada's Economic Action Plan built on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. It provided $475 million, over two years, to build new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. Overall, the Economic Action Plan included $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
A new agreement signed recently by both orders of government implements B.C.'s allocation of the remaining three years of the $1.9 billion, which amounts to a further $90 million in federal funding for British Columbians in housing need. The Province will contribute another $90 million in matching funds for a combined investment of $180 million to support housing programs and services that help B.C. residents access safe, affordable housing.
The Province of British Columbia $14-billion capital infrastructure program is creating up to 88,000 jobs, building vital public infrastructure and stimulating local economies across the province.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan
For more information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
A backgrounder follows.
Office of Minister Finley
Oct. 14, 2011 Ministry of Energy and Mines
and Minister Responsible for Housing
Apple Valley, located at 2055 Benvoulin Court in Kelowna, provides 72 new apartments for seniors, including 36 Seniors' Rental Housing apartments for seniors and persons with disabilities.
The five-storey building consists of a mix of open studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, including:
- 36 Seniors' Rental Housing apartments managed by the Society of HOPE.
- 36 affordable rental apartments owned and operated by the Society of HOPE.
- A recreation centre for seniors, which includes a fireside lounge and library, a multi-purpose room, meeting rooms, a large community kitchen, a billiards/shuffleboard room and a six-lane bowling alley.
Partners and Funding:
The total capital cost of this 72 apartment development with recreation centre is approximately $11.7 million:
- The Government of Canada provided approximately $2.7 million under Canada's Economic Action Plan.
- The Province of British Columbia provided over $9.4 million in interim financing for the construction phase of the development, contributed approximately $1.2 million and arranged long term financing of $5.3 million upon building completion.
- The City of Kelowna reduced development cost charges for this project.
- The Society of HOPE provided the land, valued at $1.1 million, and equity of approximately $1.5 million toward the non-residential portions of the building.
Office of Minister Finley