The CAO joined the board in a facilitation development session in March, during which organizational governance, including our enacting bylaws were reviewed. A full review of the bylaws will be conducted over the next several months.
2018 Municipal Requisition
The CAO presented an overview of the annual requisition for board approval at the February meeting. CAO provided the 2018 requisition requests to our member municipalities in March.
Housing Needs Study
Our study has moved into the analysis and reporting stage. The project schedule anticipates completion in May or June of 2018.
RATES OF OCCUPANCY
Bow River Lodge 93% occupancy
Cascade House 86% occupancy
Bow River Homes 100% occupancy
Mount Edith House 100% occupancy
Community Housing 98% occupancy
Rent Supplement 100% subscription
Bow River Lodge Redevelopment “This is Home”
Phase 1: The building is fully operational, while deficiency work continues. Alberta Seniors and Housing is working on the showers, as well as some mechanical noise issues.
Phase 2: Substantial planning is expected to commence shortly. Construction on this phase cannot start until Phase 1 is fully operational. Meanwhile, we anticipate that demolition of the old lodge will begin in Q2 2018.
Phase 2: This facility will be designed to meet the needs of designated supportive living level 4 and dementia operations, including enhanced safety and care-provision considerations. Alberta Health Services (AHS) has provided design guidelines that the facility must consider to secure a Designated Supportive Living (DSL) agreement, which is the goal to meet the current and future needs of the people of the region. Next steps include Project Approvals, Project Coordination, and negotiation of an Agreement with AHS. A Request for proposals (RFP) for architectural services has been developed for release once all necessary approvals are in place.
Phase 2: The current capital cost range is estimated between $16 million and $19 million; the Government of Alberta has committed $16 million to date. BVRH is responsible for the furniture and equipment for the facility, which we will fund through a combination of fundraising and financing, including municipal requisition. It is expected that this development will improve our operating model to the point that we are able to achieve much more significant economies of scale, thereby significantly reducing the need to requisition for operating costs at Bow River Lodge in the future.
ABOUT BOW VALLEY REGIONAL HOUSING
Bow Valley Regional Housing (BVRH) is a Housing Management Body (HMB) for the Government of Alberta. Alberta’s HMBs were created to operate and administer provincially owned social housing facilities and programming. The Province holds an extensive 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 their particular region. Each region is comprised of multiple municipalities, improvement districts, etc. HMBs may also 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 supported through various means. Tenants pay rent and/or lodge fees, but since these are set at very affordable rates, the revenues cannot 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 Seniors and Housing.
As the HMB for the Bow Valley region, we are responsible for social housing, as well as 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 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.
We are a self-governing body. We collaborate 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 Mission Statement
Bow Valley Regional Housing commits to provide accommodation services for the Bow Valley region seniors and residents of modest means who struggle to secure and maintain appropriate housing.
All told, we currently house, or help to house more than 400 residents of the Bow Valley in eight permanent housing projects encompassing 36 separate buildings.
seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that currently house up to 88 residents
an expansion project underway at our lodge in Canmore will bring designated supportive living to the region that will provide appropriate accommodations to our most vulnerable seniors while alleviating pressures in local hospitals
seniors’ independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that include 62 one-bedroom apartments
58 family housing residences in Canmore
the Rent Supplement Program in the region that currently provides financial assistance to approximately 40 Bow Valley households
We have some other great ideas!
Visioning is underway for the conversion of a 15-unit wing from lodge accommodation to seniors’ self-contained housing for low-income independent seniors, which will allow us to re-profile part of the Bow River Lodge site to increase the number of senior’s self-contained units, and add other affordable housing options.
The BVRH Vision Statement
Bow Valley Regional Housing aspires to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure that suitable programming that will mitigate the housing needs of our client base is available. We will:
Make decisions and recommendations using relevant and valid data regarding community trends and housing needs.
Obtain funding to develop infrastructure that meets identified needs for social and senior’s affordable housing programs.
Embrace operating principles that incorporate innovation, service excellence and best practices.
Attract and retain highly qualified and caring staff.
BVRH has approximately 39 employees based in either Bow River Lodge (Canmore) or Cascade House (Banff). Our Administration and Maintenance Teams are based in Canmore but serve all of our operations. We have Housekeeping and Food Service Teams in both of our lodges.
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.
Information is available on our website at www.bvrh.ca