BVRH March Bulletin

Summary of the January regular board meeting: 

The board learned that development of a Rent Geared to Income (RGI) program was making good progress and was on schedule.

The board reviewed a first draft lodge operations budget. The board was provided with key assumption information. CAO invited feedback during the meeting and over the period until the February regular board meeting. Any changes to the draft budget will be presented for consideration at that meeting. Our operating budgets are prepared each year and are forecasts of expected annual revenues and planned expenditures that support the Lodge Programs supportive living operations. The board discussed the importance of maintaining an effective HR model in the challenging Bow Valley Labour Market, given the importance and nature of our work, as well as development of a Lodges Capital Budget.

The board participated in a Fundraising Visioning Workshop facilitated by a representative of KEA Canada. Session Objectives:  In order to successfully secure funding in support of BVRH goals and objectives, this session looked at BVRH from the philanthropic perspective in order to provide the framework for an effective fundraising strategy. Together we identified strategic fundraising priorities to profile in a Case for Support.  We also explored the type of supporter that might be interested and some initial strategies on where to go to seek that support. Next steps include: develop an initial fundraising strategy and budget.

The board learned that a new website was nearing completion.

The board discussed ongoing efforts related to the development of a BVRH logo.

The board reviewed progress toward the BVRH Strategic Goals for 2013-2018 and agreed to meet to refresh the plan in mid-Fall 2015.

The board agreed to the need to secure a comprehensive housing needs assessment for the entire region in collaboration with relevant community and government agencies.


Project occupancy rates and tenant selection:

Current occupancy rates in our accommodation programs:

Bow River Lodge                  95% occupancy

Cascade House                      100% occupancy

Bow River Homes                 100% occupancy

Mount Edith House               97% occupancy

Community Housing             98% occupancy

Rent Supplement                   100% subscription


Major project status updates: 

Temporary Flood relief housing:

BVRH continues to assist the Government of Alberta with their efforts to house local victims of the southern flooding. The units are in place and while many are occupied, many of our short-term tenants have transitioned to longer-term solutions. BVRH is responsible for most of the routine maintenance and tenant administration.

Bow River Lodge Redevelopment: “This is Home”

Schedule:  The tender for construction is closed on February 6, 2015. CAO attended the public opening that occurred at 2:00pm that day. Three bids were received. One firm has been recommended for Ministerial approval. The province now has 60 days from that date to enter into a contract with the successful bidder. CAO anticipates mobilization and construction commencement in early April 2015. Allowing 18 months for construction we can anticipate completion around mid-Fall 2016.

Design: The design includes 63 new residential lodge units, replacing 43 aging units and giving us 20 more, maximizing the available space in anticipation of the looming needs of our aging population in the region. This design means that all of our seniors will be housed in safe, new and fully functional spaces instead of some that are retro-fitted, ensuring more effective and efficient accommodation along with much improved ability to increase care services in the future.   Aside from the better facility afforded by this design it is important to also highlight the creation of a valuable and substantial piece of property to be used to meet regional needs in the future. The area currently taken up by the old parts of the original lodge will be used to bring higher levels of supportive living to the region for true aging in place.

Economics: Housing representatives agreed to the 80/20 sharing model, whereby the Province will pay 100% of the project costs and BVRH will pay our 20% over time. This model is awaiting final approval, but an Alberta Housing representative maintains that the intent remains intact now that the bids have been evaluated. The current total project cost estimate is $14.0 million.

Communications: We will present to our member municipality’s councils in April and May, piggy backing on our RGI communications strategy. Exterior signage is currently being produced, as is a looping digital presentation that will run in the lodge and during presentations.

Next steps: Phase 2: BVRH is awaiting word on our application to the 2014 ASLI grant program. Under this program building projects receive 50% capital funding from the Province, as well as an operating agreement with AHS for designated levels of supportive living. We have been encouraged to apply in light of the fact that the Province is eager to build more beds, and our region has been identified as a target for some of them. Given timing surrounding Phase 1, it is possible that we will be more likely to secure ASLI funding during the 2015 round, but we’ll apply this year and if necessary apply again next year. Phase 2 would create between 54 and 75 SL3/4/D units on the footprint currently occupied by the original lodge, bringing again in place to our region. It would also have positive economic effects, hopefully taking Bow River Lodge to cost neutrality!

Levels of supportive living (the basics):

1.      Independent

2.      Functionally independent with or without the help of community resources. Able to function with regularly scheduled assistance. Able to make own decisions and know when needs are not being met.

3.      Require some unscheduled assistance, requires 24 hour access to home care type workers with an LPN on call. Able to make some decisions and usually know when needs are not being met.

4.      Require frequent unscheduled assistance, perhaps modified diet and foods, and requires 24 hour access to LPN with RN on call. Unable to make most decisions and typically won’t know if needs are not being met.


Acronym Glossary:

AAMD&C = Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties

ADM = Assistant Deputy Minister

AHS = Alberta Health Services

APHAA = Alberta Public Housing Administrators Association

ASCHA = Alberta Seniors Citizens Housing Association

ASHC = Alberta Social Housing Corporation

ASLI = Affordable Supportive Living Initiative

AUMA = Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

BRL = Bow River Lodge

BVRH = Bow Valley Regional Housing

CAO = Chief Administrative Officer

CNIT = Core Need Income Threshold

HMB = Housing Management Body

LPN = Licensed Practical Nurse

MO = Ministerial Order

RGI = Rent Geared to Income

RN = Registered Nurse

SL = Supportive Living

SSC = Seniors’ self-contained (independent seniors housing)






  • In emergency please dial 9-1-1
  • For 24/7 telephone nurse advice and general health information for Albertans information on diseases, treatments, staying well, and healthcare services dial 1-866-408-5465 (toll free)


About Bow Valley Regional Housing

Bow Valley Regional Housing (BVRH) is a Housing Management Body (HMB) for the Government of Alberta. The Provincial Government created HMBs to serve as operators and administrators of provincially-owned social housing facilities. The Province owns a large portfolio of these facilities through the Alberta Social Housing Corporation (ASHC), serving many needy and vulnerable Albertans. Each HMB is self-governing under the Alberta Housing Act, managing the ASHC assets in a particular region. Each region is comprised of multiple municipalities, improvement districts, etc. HMBs may operate other kinds of housing and may own buildings that house accommodation programs.

Every municipality in Alberta is a contributing member of their regional HMB. They are required to have at least one appointee on the governing board, which is responsible for acting in the best interests of the HMB. The board must consider the needs of each contributing municipality in its governance of the HMB.

HMB operations are funded through various means. Tenants pay rent and/or lodge fees, however since these are set at affordable rates the revenues usually do not cover the costs of operations. Seniors Lodge deficits are funded through municipal ratepayer requisitions and provincial grants. Social Housing deficits (including independent seniors housing and community housing) are funded by Alberta Municipal Affairs (Housing).


As the HMB for the Bow Valley region we are responsible for social housing and affordable supportive living accommodation for seniors throughout Kananaskis Country, the Bow Corridor, the MD of Bighorn and all of Banff National Park, an area covering about 13,500 square kilometres. This region has two towns and seven hamlets containing a total of about 25,000 people. Our five contributing municipalities are: Kananaskis ID, MD of Bighorn, Town of Canmore, Town of Banff and Banff National Park ID9. The people of the region are able to access all of the programs we offer, subject to eligibility requirements.

The BVRH Mission Statement

Bow Valley Regional Housing is committed to providing appropriate housing services to the Bow Valley region seniors and residents of modest means who struggle to secure such accommodations. 

We manage:

  • seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that currently house up to 85 residents
  • seniors’ independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that have 62 one-bedroom apartments
  • 58 family housing residences in Canmore
  • Interim relief housing for about 6 households displaced by the June floods
  • the Rent Supplement Program in the region that currently provides financial assistance to about 40 Bow Valley households

All told we currently house, or help to house about 350 residents of the Bow Valley in 8 permanent and 1 interim housing projects encompassing 41 separate buildings between 4 separate communities.

We are a self-governing body. We partner with two provincial ministries and five municipal governments, along with numerous local and community agencies to provide and promote safe and appropriate housing to our region.

The BVRH Vision Statement

In ensuring the residents of the Bow Valley region have access to appropriate housing options we envision a collaborative approach whereby all local and provincial housing stakeholders work together to respond to community trends and housing needs in a responsible and timely fashion.

We will remain committed to staying informed of relevant and valid community trends and housing needs.

We will remain committed to securing funding to develop infrastructure that meets the identified needs in social housing.

We will remain committed to innovation, service excellence, best practices, and to being an employer of choice in the Bow Valley region.

BVRH has about 36 employees based in either Bow River Lodge in Canmore or Cascade House in Banff. Our Administration and Maintenance Teams are based in Canmore but take care of all of our operations. As well, we have Housekeeping and Food Service Teams plus a Recreation Coordinator at our lodge in Canmore. Our Cascade House Team serves the residents of our lodge in Banff.

BVRH Values

Service: client focus, empathy, caring, commitment to quality and a guiding philosophy of serving our clients in their homes.

Integrity and accountability: high ethics, professionalism, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.

Efficacy: sustainability, innovation, versatility, collaboration, communication, vision and resourcefulness.

These bulletins are available on our website at