2017 BVRH April Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin             

April 2017

ACTIVE INITIATIVES

This is Home Phase 3

CAO has submitted proposals to the Government of Alberta for the next phase, which is a consolidation of the previously-labelled phases 3 and 4 into a single project:

  • The project consists of multiple facets:

o   The envisioned conversion of the Southeast wing of BRL into independent seniors’ accommodation. This will make efficient use of our available spaces to improve our ability to meet the housing needs of independent seniors in the region.

o   Relocate the tenants from Bow River Homes buildings A and B into the converted spaces (leaving three units available to help address our large waitlist).

o   The envisioned redevelopment on the site of Bow River Homes Buildings A and B, which are aged, facing obsolescence and lacking sprinkler systems. The project would create between 30 and 40 modern, multi-income seniors apartments, with other types of housing to be considered.

o   Ideally, this project would start in 2017. The footprints of these buildings represent very valuable developable space on our BRL campus, presenting an opportunity to meet more of the housing needs of our seniors, and perhaps other target populations.

 

·         Activity Bus for Lodges

CAO has ordered a new activity bus for our lodges. The bus will include a wheelchair lift and walker storage. We expect delivery this summer!

 

·         Alberta Seniors Communities and Housing Association

Three members of the BVRH board accompanied two members of the BVRH management team to the 2017 ASCHA Conference and Trade Show in Edmonton. The conference provided educational and networking opportunities, including best practice sharing and updates from government representatives.

 

GOVERNANCE AND LICENSING

·         Annual licensing inspection at Bow River Lodge

Our annual licensing inspection by Alberta Health Services found that we are 100% compliant with the supportive living accommodation standards. This marks the fifth years in row that we have had zero non-compliance conditions!

 

·         Annual external audit

Our annual audit for 2016 was completed in March, identifying no issues, discrepancies or internal control weaknesses. Nor did the auditors identify any fraudulent or illegal activities, or unresolved audit issues. The auditors did recommend a change to a better method of accounting for restricted contributions, which CAO and board agree with in principle.

 

RATES OF OCCUPANCY

Bow River Lodge                  100% occupancy

Cascade House                      90% occupancy

Bow River Homes                  100% occupancy

Mount Edith House              100% occupancy

Community Housing             100% occupancy

Rent Supplement                   100% subscription

 

SPECIAL PROJECTS

·         Temporary Flood relief housing

BVRH continues to assist the Government of Alberta with their efforts to house local victims of the southern flooding. This program is winding down; just one tenant remains in place.

 

·         Bow River Lodge Redevelopment “This is Home

Schedule: 

  • Phase 1: Exterior work is complete, except for some landscaping projects that will occur in the spring. Interior work continues in final stages, including painting and commercial kitchen installations. The schedule indicates substantial completion in the latter half of April 2017, with full operations commencing in June 2017. Current progress stands at approximately 98%. Change Order costs, both approved, declined and under review, currently equate to approximately 3.8% of construction budget. CAO and senior management team are continuing work on the relocation plan, new operating models, emergency preparedness planning, change management for the staff and have ordered necessary furniture and equipment.
  • Phase 2: Substantial planning in anticipation of project approvals is pending. Construction on this phase cannot start until Phase 1 is fully operational. We anticipate completion of Phase 2 in 2019.

Design:

·         Phase 1: 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 ensuring more effective and efficient accommodation along with much improved ability to increase care services 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.

·         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 required approvals are in place.

Economics:

·         Phase 1: Alberta Seniors’ Housing has paid 100% of the capital project costs. BVRH will furnish, equip and maintain the facility. The current total project cost estimate is $13.2 million.

·         Phase 2: The current capital cost estimate is $19.5 million. We have received a commitment of a $6 million Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grant from the Government of Alberta. We plan to fund the furniture and equipment for the facility 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 much greater 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. 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 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.

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.

We manage:

  • seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that currently house up to 85 residents
  • an expansion project underway at our lodge in Canmore will increase capacity and greatly improve the standard of living for the residents of the lodge
  • a second phase of the expansion project that will introduce designated supportive living to the region by way of approximately 60 beds that will provide appropriate accommodations to our 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
  • Interim relief housing for one household displaced by the June 2013 flooding
  • the Rent Supplement Program in the region that currently provides financial assistance to approximately 40 Bow Valley households

We are building!

  • Construction is nearing completion on a new lodge addition in Canmore with 63 residential units, new kitchen facilities, and more
  • Planning is underway for a high level care facility in Canmore with 60 care units and all required amenity spaces
  • Planning is underway for the conversion of a 15-unit wing from lodge accommodation to seniors’ self-contained housing for low-income independent 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 units, while adding other affordable housing options.

 

All told, we currently house, or help to house approximately 425 residents of the Bow Valley in eight permanent and one interim housing projects encompassing 36 separate buildings between three separate communities.

 

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 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.

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.

Information is available on our website at www.bvrh.ca