New affordable housing to help Port Alberni seniors

PORT ALBERNI – Seniors in Port Alberni will soon have access to additional affordable rental housing and long-term care so they can receive the services they need and continue to live in the community as they age.

Two new projects at the Tsawaayuus Care Facility are under construction as part of a partnership between the Province, Island Health, the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Westcoast Native Health Care Society, the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation and the City of Port Alberni.

“Too many seniors in Port Alberni are struggling to keep up with the rising housing costs,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “I am proud that our government is working with community partners to ensure seniors have access to safe and affordable housing in our community.”

The first project is a new independent living building with 20 one-bedroom units for low- income seniors, being built next to the existing Tsawaayuus Care Facility. The independent living building will incorporate scooter parking, programming space, common areas and a community kitchen for residents.

The second project is a new extension to the Tsawaayuus Care Facility, which will create an additional 13 long-term care beds, 12 of which will be subsidized by Island Health. The care facility and new independent living building will be connected by a pedestrian pathway to ensure mobility within the campus for residents and patients.

The new beds are part of the Ministry of Health’s commitment to seniors’ care in the province, which will see $240 million invested over three years to increase staffing levels in residential care homes.

“The new long-term care beds in Port Alberni will mean more seniors can stay closer to their friends and family and remain connected to their community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We know that maintaining connections to the people and places they love helps seniors enjoy the quality of life they deserve.”

The Tsawaayuus Care Facility is operated by the Westcoast Native Health Care Society. The care facility currently has 30 publicly subsidized beds and one privately funded complex-care bed.

The new beds will enhance capacity and provide 24-hour professional care and supervision to adults in a supportive and secure environment.

Both developments are expected to be ready for occupancy by late 2019.

Read the full news release.