Redevelopment planning has started for the 10-hectare (25-acre) Pearson Dogwood site in Vancouver to create new homes for clients with disabilities and seniors in residential care.
A business case has been started to support the project that will replace the George Pearson Centre and the Dogwood Lodge.
"This development is a major opportunity to redefine how we provide long-term residential care services to some of society's most vulnerable," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "We want to enable independent living options for people with disabilities while ensuring a balanced, safe and secure environment that promotes individual rights and dignity for current and future residents."
The redevelopment will create a community that offers a range of residential living options from supported and assisted housing to affordable rental and market housing. All these housing options will be within a community setting that could potentially include community gardens, retail amenities, health-care services, and rehabilitation and community recreational facilities.
Vancouver Coastal Health is working closely with the City of Vancouver, community stakeholders and advocates in the disabilities community to create a comprehensive policy statement and business case to guide the development going forward.
Details around the scope of the work, the funding and timelines will be determined as part of the business case.
"The scope of this development is unprecedented for a health authority," said Vancouver Coastal Health chief executive officer Dr. David Ostrow. "This is an important step in visioning how we provide care and how we make use of our strategic land assets for new residential and community health care facilities throughout VCH."
The capital funding required for this project is anticipated to come from the rezoning, subdividing and selling portions of the overall site. This project is part of government's ongoing plan to release unused, surplus government properties for new development opportunities in the public and private sectors, creating economic activity and helping balance the budget.
"I sincerely hope this project produces a vibrant and inclusive community in which current and future residents have a choice of the type of housing and care delivery that best suits their needs and lifestyles," said Murray Hamilton of the Vancouver Resource Society, who sits on the redevelopment's community advisory committee.
The George Pearson Centre was constructed in 1952 and provides residential care to over 100 residents with severe disabilities such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. The facility is aging and some mechanical and electrical systems cannot be upgraded to meet capacity. The ward-style accommodation also does not meet the privacy or independence needs of current residents.
Dogwood Lodge was built in 1974 and provides residential care to over 100 elderly residents requiring complex care. The facility does not meet current standards for complex care as the bedrooms are very small and residents share washroom facilities.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
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Vancouver Coastal Health