LAKE COUNTRY - Seniors and people with disabilities in Lake Country now have better access to affordable housing at Pinewood Villas, a new ten-unit building funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia along with community partners.
"This project is a great example of what we strive for," said Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna - Lake Country. "All levels of government working together with a wonderful not-for-profit organization to provide quality, affordable and accessible housing for people to live in a safe and friendly community environment."
"Our government has made it a priority to develop affordable housing projects, such as Pinewood Villas, for our seniors," said Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. "With the opening of Pinewood Villas, seniors now have increased affordable housing options that are specifically designed for their needs right here in Lake Country."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement, the federal and provincial governments contributed a combined total of approximately $1.4 million for the construction of ten seniors' rental housing apartments.
The Society of HOPE manages and operates the building. 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.
"We are proud to add Pinewood Villas to our portfolio of housing for seniors we manage and operate," said Lorne Gerber, president for the Society of HOPE. "We strongly believe in providing seniors with an array of housing options that are safe and affordable. Pinewood Villas is a true testament to this. I would like to thank all partners involved in making this project a reality."
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 across B.C. Under the terms of the agreement, the provincial and federal governments provided matching contributions of $61.8 million.
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
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.
Pinewood Villas, located at 10274 Bottom Wood Lake Road in Lake Country, is a Seniors' Rental Housing development that provides ten 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 this project is approximately $1.7 million.
- The Government of Canada provided $742,500 under Canada's Economic Action Plan - Housing for low-income seniors and housing for persons with disabilities.
- The B.C. government invested approximately $718,500 toward this project and provided the land.