NEWS, INITIATIVES AND EVENTS
Bow River Seniors’ Lodge Spring Garden Party Our Second Annual Spring Garden Party was held on Saturday, June 1, 2019, to kick off Seniors Week in Alberta. It was a sunny afternoon full of fellowship, live music, snacks, fun activities and more, and it as all for free! Thank you to everyone who helped put it on, and to all who attended and helped make it great!
Housing Needs Study The final report was received by the board last month, who formally accepted it and approved its release to the public. The report is posted on the BVRH website, available to the public, and has been shared directly with housing agencies. Now the work begins, digging into the data and using it to address housing challenges in the Bow Valley region.
Designated Supportive Living Operations Planning Senior management continues to work on the development of a comprehensive operational model development in collaboration with Alberta Health Services and other appropriate professionals in preparation of operations following the construction of Phase 2.
2020 – 2022 Business Plan Update The board will review the updates to the BVRH business plan, the final version of which will be provided to Alberta Seniors and Housing as is required of all Housing Management Bodies in Alberta.
Competition for External Audit Services The board will consider going to tender for audit services as a matter of good practice. KMSS has successfully conducted the BVRH annual audits for the last five years. The proposed tender opportunity will be offered to a list of qualified audit firms on a three-year basis; KMSS will be one of the invitees.
RATES OF OCCUPANCY
Bow River Lodge 95% occupancy
Cascade House 89% occupancy
Bow River Homes 100% occupancy
Mount Edith House 100% occupancy
Community Housing 100% occupancy
Rent Supplement 100% subscription
SPECIAL PROJECT: This is Home (Phase 2)
Clark Builders is working with the province and Marshall Tittimore Architects on the design and construction planning of the 60 bed DSL4/D facility. Meanwhile Clark has completed abatement work in the old lodge and expect to start demolition during the last week of June. The demolition project will make room for the new building by removing the original areas of the old lodge, leaving the newer southeast wing in place for future use. Expect substantial completion toward the end of 2020, and commissioning early 2021.
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 be able to secure a Designated Supportive Living (DSL) agreement, which is the goal to be able to meet more of the current and future needs of the people of the region.
The current capital cost range is estimated at $16.3 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.
BOW VALLEY REGIONAL HOUSING
We are a Housing Management Body (HMB) created by the Government of Alberta. Alberta’s HMBs 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) that serves many needy and vulnerable Albertans. Each HMB is a not-for-profit self-governing corporation under the Alberta Housing Act that manages ASHC assets in their respective region. HMBs may operate various housing programs and own facilities.
Every municipality in Alberta is a contributing member of their regional HMB and is required to have at least one appointee serving on the governing board The HMB board members are responsible for acting in the best interests of the entire region. HMB’s function as property managers for the Province, often working to address relevant housing needs in their region.
HMB operational funding sources can vary somewhat. Tenants pay accommodation fees, which are usually subject to affordability limits. These limits often lead to operating deficits by constricting the ability to collect enough fees to cover the full costs of operations. Provincial grants and municipal requisitions subsidize seniors’ lodge deficits, whereas the Province alone funds deficits in independent seniors and community housing programs.
As the HMB for the Bow Valley region, BVRH is 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. The region covers an area of 13,500 square kilometres that has two towns and seven hamlets that contain approximately 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 can access the programs we offer, subject to eligibility requirements.
We are an independent body that collaborates with two provincial ministries, five municipal governments, numerous agencies in our community and provincial organizations to provide and promote safe and appropriate housing in our region.
OUR 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.
We provide housing-related programs to approximately four hundred residents in the Bow Valley region, delivered through our four programs. These programs are housed across seven properties in Banff and Canmore that contain a total of thirty-four separate buildings, twenty of which are stand-alone residential houses.
Our projects include the following:
Seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that provide room and board to the residents of our 85 suites.
o Phase 2 of our This is Home project will deliver designated supportive living to the region through sixty 24-hour care suites that will provide appropriate accommodations to our vulnerable seniors while alleviating pressures on local hospitals.
Seniors’ self-contained independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that include a total of 62 one-bedroom apartments.
Family housing residences in Canmore that include 38 townhouses and 20 houses.
Rent Supplement Programs that currently provide financial assistance to approximately 35 households in the Bow Valley.
Planning is underway for the conversion of a 15-suite lodge wing into independent seniors’ self-contained housing for low-income seniors.
Planning is underway for the re-profiling of a part of the Bow River Lodge site to increase the number of senior’s self-contained suites while adding other affordable housing options.
OUR VISION STATEMENT
Bow Valley Regional Housing aspires to collaborate with relevant entities 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.
The BVRH team includes approximately forty employees, based at Bow River Seniors Lodge in Canmore, and Cascade House in Banff. Our Central Administration and Maintenance Teams are based in Canmore but serve all of our projects. We have dedicated Housekeeping and Food Service Teams at each of our two seniors’ lodges.