The new building being constructed next to Ferland Park for seniors looking for affordable housing, and seniors needing dementia care support, should be up and running by the end of the year.
This project is first of its kind in the province, where BC Housing has partnered with Northern Health under a residential facility agreement to provide a mix of affordable rental homes for seniors, as well as homes for those that require on-site dementia care support, as stated in a Feb. 26 news release by BC Housing.
Located on 2657 Church Avenue, construction is underway on the three-storey building which will have 20 one-bedroom rental homes for seniors with low to moderate incomes. There will also be 8 accessible studio units for dementia care patients.
The project is a partnership between the province through BC Housing, Northern Health, District of Vanderoof, Connexus Community Resources and the Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North.
The province is providing a $2 million grant from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, as well as $5 million in low-interest construction financing for the 20 rental homes. Additionally the society will receive an annual subsidy from the province of approximately $166,000 to operate the housing.
Northern Health is providing $2 million in capital funding and will provide operating funding for the eight dementia care units. Whereas, the District of Vanderhoof provided the land for the project, valued at approximately $150,000.
Connexus Community Resources will oversee the day-to-day management of the building and will partner with Northern Health nursing staff to provide specialized care for those living with dementia.
Tyrell Arnold, executive director for Connexus said they are thrilled to be part of this new development for older adults. “Like many communities, Vanderhoof has a growing demand for more affordable housing, and this new building will enhance the community and provide critical housing,” he said.
Mayor Gerry Thiessen said the seniors and dementia health housing project is a positive asset to the Vanderhoof community. “Not only will it give us much-needed supply of one-bedroom apartments, it will also be home to adults suffering with dementia, which will be a significant benefit to the capacity concern we have faced at St. John Hospital. There are so many who have made this unique-to-B.C. project a success,” he said.
Residents are expected to move into the building by the end of 2021, as stated in the news release.
This story was first published in the March 4 edition of the Express.