Monthly Bulletin December 2019
NEWS, INITIATIVES AND EVENTS
Alberta Budget 2020
The provincial government released their first budget intentions in November, and while details are still forthcoming, we have been directed to cease taking new applications to the Rent Supplement Program and to suspend adding new clients to the program from the waitlist. We have also been told to expect reductions to the Rent Supplement Program budget, as well as relatively small reductions to our Social Housing Program operating budget. On the capital front we expect that the construction of the Designated Supportive Living facility will remain on track. Once we have the details of the reductions we will manage the programs to have as little impact on our rent supplement and social housing clients as possible. We do not anticipate any impacts on our lodge residents beyond the deindexing of the Alberta Seniors Benefit.
Designated Supportive Living Operations Planning
Senior management has continued to work on the development of an operating model in collaboration with Alberta Health Services and other relevant professionals in preparation for operations following the construction of Phase 2.
RATES OF OCCUPANCY BY PROGRAM
Bow River Lodge 100% occupancy
Cascade House 89% occupancy
Bow River Homes 100% occupancy
Mount Edith House 100% occupancy
Community Housing 97% occupancy
Rent Supplement 100% subscription
SPECIAL PROJECT: This is Home (Phase 2)
Schedule: Clark Builders is working with the province and Marshall Tittimore Architects on the design and construction planning of the 60 bed DSL4/D facility. Demolition of the old lodge is complete, making way for the new building, while leaving the newer southeast wing in place for future use. Expect substantial completion in Q2/3 2021, followed by commissioning.
Design: 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.
Economics: The current capital cost is $16.9 million; the Government of Alberta has committed $16.0 million to date. BVRH has agreed to contribute the remaining 5% of the capital budget (up to a maximum of $900,000) to keep the project moving.
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.
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.
Sustainability, innovation, versatility, collaboration, communication, vision and resourcefulness.
More information is available on our website at www.bvrh.ca