BAYNES LAKE, B.C. - Seniors in Baynes Lake celebrated the one year anniversary of Spirit Pond Haven, a new development providing eight units of seniors housing, funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia along with community partners.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia, on behalf of Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "Through investments in Spirit Pond Haven, we have helped to increase the number of affordable housing options for seniors in need of a hand up and contributed to the economic and social well-being of the entire community.''
"Investing in safe, affordable housing for seniors is important to our government," said Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and MLA for Kootenay East. "Spirit Pond Haven has created new affordable housing options and will add to the community for many years to come. I would like to thank all partners involved, especially the Baynes Lake Seniors Housing Society for their current and future successes at Spirit Pond Haven."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal and provincial governments contributed a combined total of over $1.1 million for the construction of eight seniors' rental housing apartments. The Regional District of East Kootenay provided the land, valued at $213,000. Columbia Basin Trust also contributed to the overall capital costs of this site. Spirit Pond Haven is managed and operated by the Baynes Lake Seniors Housing Society.
"The Regional District of East Kootenay is pleased that the Province had granted us the land so that we had it available to give to the society for the development of Spirit Pond Haven, providing seniors in our regional district with more affordable housing solutions they so richly deserve," says Heath Slee, director, Regional District of East Kootenay - Electoral Area B. "I want to congratulate Doug Lyons and the Baynes Lake Seniors Housing Society for their success in fulfilling their vision for the Baynes Lake community."
Columbia Basin Trust has committed $425,000 to the overall capital costs of seven sites in the Columbia Basin region for a total of 114 units under the Seniors' Rental Housing initiative, including Spirit Pond Haven. Other Seniors' Rental Housing projects completed with Columbia Basin Trust commitment include Cranbrook, Creston, Golden, Kimberley, two sites in Revelstoke and Valemount.
"This is a great opportunity to celebrate the collaborative efforts of the community, local partners and government, and a chance to congratulate you all on the one-year anniversary of Spirit Pond Haven," said Neil Muth, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Basin Trust. "This housing initiative is meeting a clear need for seniors housing, and we are honoured to be a part of it."
"Residents of Spirit Pond Haven have truly taken great pride in making these homes their own," said Doug Lyon, chairman, Baynes Lake Seniors Housing Society. "We are thankful for the support from our government partners and the community that made these apartments possible. We look forward to many more anniversary celebrations here at Spirit Pond Haven for years to come."
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 approximately $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.
For more information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca
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.gc.ca
Under BC's Family Agenda, government is committed to improving housing for low-income families, seniors, and people experiencing homelessness. To learn more, visit: www.familiesfirstbc.ca.
Since 2001, the government of B.C. 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
A backgrounder follows.
Columbia Basin Trust
Regional District of East Kootenay
Spirit Pond Haven
Spirit Pond Haven, located at 565 Baynes Lake School Rd. in Baynes Lake, is a Seniors' Rental Housing development that provides eight units of affordable modular housing for seniors and people with disabilities in need.
Modular housing has been used extensively for 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 and are designed to be easily accessible for seniors and people 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 Spirit Pond Haven is over $1.4 million for eight affordable seniors' housing units.
- The Government of Canada provided more than $594,000 through Canada's Economic Action Plan - Housing for Low-Income Seniors and Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
- The B.C. government provided $533,724.
- The Regional District of East Kootenay provided the land, valued at $213,000.
- Columbia Basin Trust has committed $425,000 to the overall capital costs of seven sites in the Columbia Basin region for a total of 114 units under the Seniors' Rental Housing (SRH) initiative. This includes projects that have been built in Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, Baynes Lake, Golden, Revelstoke and Valemount.
Columbia Basin Trust
Regional District of East Kootenay