BVRH Monthly Bulletin April 2015
Annual financial audit
Senior managers from Kenway Mack Slusarchuk Stewart presented the audit results and year-end financial statements for 2014. The presenters discussed internal control observations and highlighted the fact that no significant weaknesses were found, nor were any fraudulent or illegal activities detected. For the year 2014 BVRH realized an overall surplus of $3,438.64 on revenue of $3.624 million. The BVRH supportive living lodge operations realized a surplus of $137,000, whereas our social housing operations realized a deficit of $133,534, which is 31% better than the provincially-approved plan.
Fund Development Initiative
The board approved an initial strategy that encompasses a systematic approach to moving forward in an efficient and sustainable manner, recognizing that this is a multi-year process. BVRH administration was directed to take the program forward while establishing a budget and a source of initial program development funding.
Rent geared to income program
The board reviewed the first draft of the recommended RGI policy and directed administration to provide a final draft for ratification before the next regular board meeting. The board also received the monthly communication strategy update. Over the next few months we will issue special bulletins featuring updates about RGI and other important initiatives.
Lodge Operations Budget Development
The board postponed further discussion of this matter to the March regular board meeting due to time constraints.
Our new website is live at www.bvrh.ca. Please check it out, and while you’re at it like our Bow Valley Regional Housing page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @BVRH1.
The new logo is featured in the upper left-hand corner of this page! It captures our housing within the mountains focus.
Housing Demand Study
The board agreed to the need to secure a comprehensive analysis of housing needs in 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 93% occupancy
Cascade House 100% occupancy
Bow River Homes 100% occupancy
Mount Edith House 94% 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”
Over the next few months we will issue special bulletins featuring updates about Lodge Renewal and Expansion along with other important initiatives.
BVRH has been awarded an Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grant of $6 million to help build 60 units of supportive living level 4 accommodation for seniors who face physical frailty, memory loss, or other health issues requiring dedicated nursing support! This project is considered to be Phase 2 of our This is Home project.
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 has 60 days from that date to enter into a contract with the successful bidder. CAO anticipates mobilization and construction commencement in April 2015. Allowing 18 months for construction we can anticipate completion around mid-Fall 2016.
Planning is already underway, however construction on this phase cannot start until Phase 1 is complete and fully operational. At this point in time we anticipate completion of Phase 2 in late 2018.
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 in Phase 2.
This facility will be purposely designed to meet the needs of supportive living level 4 operations, including enhanced safety and care-provision considerations. At this point only a design concept has been developed.
Alberta Seniors, Housing representatives have expressed no change 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.
The current capital cost estimate is $18.5 million. The ASLI funding of $6 million, plus another $1.5 million in grants we are likely to receive, brings our share to $11 million. We plan to fund our share through a combination of fundraising and financing. It is expected that this development will improve our operating model to the point that we are able to achieve economies of scale that will mitigate the need to requisition for operating costs at Bow River Lodge in the future.
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.
Planning for the communications plan for phase 2 will be incorporated into our overall strategy.
Levels of supportive living (the basics):
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.
ASLI = Affordable Supportive Living Initiative
BVRH = Bow Valley Regional Housing
CAO = Chief Administrative Officer
RGI = Rent Geared to Income
Medical and Health assistance:
- 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.
- 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 400 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.
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 www.bvrh.ca