Seniors in Terrace are celebrating increased access to affordable housing at Market Estates, a new development providing 24 units of seniors housing, funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia along with community partners.
"Our Government is dedicated to giving a hand-up to people in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in this apartment complex in Terrace," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "Twenty-four new units are more than just safe and affordable places to live. For the residents, they mean a place they can call home."
"We know that the population of seniors in B.C. is growing faster than any other demographic," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing. "Our government is diligently working with other levels of government and community partners to ensure that we are providing affordable housing for seniors so that they can remain in the communities they love."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal and provincial governments contributed a combined total of nearly $3.7 million for the construction of Market Estates. The City of Terrace provided the land, valued at approximately $230,000, and waived development cost charges of approximately $35,000.
"Anyone in Terrace will tell you this is a great place to live," said Mayor David Pernarowski, City of Terrace. "That's why we need to ensure that everyone, including seniors, has a safe and affordable place to call home so that they can stay part of our community. It's great to see everyone come together and make a difference for people in our city who need a little extra help."
The Seniors' Rental Housing initiative was 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 has helped to stimulate local economies in smaller communities throughout B.C. Under terms of the agreement, the provincial and federal governments provided matching contributions of $61.8 million.
The Canada - British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011 - 2014, signed in July 2011, confirms the remaining three years of B.C.'s five-year allocation of the Government of Canada's 2008 commitment of more than $1.9 billion to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. This means a further $90 million in federal funding for British Columbians in housing need. With matching provincial contributions of $90 million, a total combined investment of $180 million helps to support affordable housing programs for B.C. residents.
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 605,000 households living in existing social housing. In British Columbia, this represents some 68,650 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.
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
Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
The Families First Agenda for British Columbia provides information about how government supports families throughout the province. It describes a range of established programs and some new ideas to help make life more affordable, support vulnerable families and keep communities safe. To read the agenda, share your ideas or provide feedback, visit: www.FamiliesFirstBC.ca
A backgrounder follows.
Office of Minister Finley
This new development, located at 4620 Davis St. in Terrace, is an affordable seniors' housing development providing 24 apartments of modular housing for seniors and people with disabilities. The apartments are directly managed by BC Housing.
Modular housing has been used extensively for the Seniors' Rental Housing developments as it allows construction to take place in a factory with less dependence on weather conditions. The modular units meet EnerGuide 80 standards (a rating of excellent for new homes), and are designed to be easily accessible for seniors and persons with disabilities. This includes room sizes that allow for wheelchair access and manoeuvring, shelves and light switches at an accessible height and bathroom grab bars or step-in showers.
Partners and Funding:
The total capital cost of this development is approximately $3.98 million:
- The Government of Canada, through CMHC, provided $1,782,000 under the stimulus phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan - Housing for low-income seniors and housing for persons with disabilities;
- The government of British Columbia invested $1,933,668; and
- The City of Terrace provided land equity of $230,000 and waived development cost charges of $35,000.
Office of Minister Finley