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For Immediate Release


Feb. 22, 2008

Ministry of Forests and Range and Minister responsible for Housing

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Vancouver Coastal Health




VANCOUVER – Federal, provincial and community partners gathered today to celebrate the opening of Höfn Icelandic Harbour, a new housing development overlooking the Fraser River that will provide 77 assisted living units for seniors.


“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing more available in British Columbia and for those who need it most,” said Ed Fast, MP for Abbotsford, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. “Seniors in Vancouver will now have access to quality, affordable housing and the services that meet their specific needs, while remaining close to their families and friends in the community.”


The Icelandic Care Home Society’s project is funded under Independent Living BC, an innovative housing-for-health program for seniors and people with disabilities. Assisted living homes are self-contained apartments with a 24-hour response system. Residents receive personal care services, such as recreational opportunities and assistance with medications, housekeeping, meals, and laundry services.


“This province is committed to providing seniors with quality, affordable housing close to family and friends,” said Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Wally Oppal. “Höfn Icelandic Harbour’s 77 assisted living units will ensure Vancouver area seniors live with dignity and independence.”


The new assisted living apartments are funded in part under the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement. The federal and provincial governments provided funding to cover capital costs, and the Province will provide an ongoing subsidy to ensure that the housing remains affordable. Vancouver Coastal Health will provide funding for personal care services to ensure that the health-care needs of the tenants are met.


The City of Vancouver reduced development cost levies to lower capital costs, making the Höfn Icelandic Harbour a collaborative venture between all three levels of government.


             “Vancouver’s seniors need more options to live independently as they age,” said Sam Sullivan, mayor of Vancouver. “By adding assisted living, we are ensuring that Vancouver remains an affordable and livable city at any age or care level.”


            “Funding support services for people in assisted living makes good sense from a health perspective,” said Ida Goodreau, president and chief executive officer of Vancouver Coastal Health. “It means that seniors can remain independent as long as possible, which keeps them connected to their communities and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.”


“The Icelandic Care Home Höfn Society has a proud history of providing care to seniors in Vancouver,” said Albert Teng of the Icelandic Care Home Society. “With the opening of Icelandic Harbour, these new assisted living units will bring a greater degree of dignity and independence to the residents.”


The 64 new Independent Living BC units are part of the Province’s commitment to provide 5,000 net-new residential care beds, assisted living units, and supportive housing with home support units by the end of 2008. To date, 9,214 new and replacement beds and units have been built, including 3,677 net-new beds.  In addition, there are 2,797 beds/units under construction.


The Province of British Columbia is committed to providing more than 4,000 affordable assisted living apartments for B.C. seniors and persons with disabilities. To date, more than 3,900 have been allocated in communities across the province. Through the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, the Province is investing $360 million in shelters and affordable housing this year, three times as much as in 2001.


            The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute more than $130 million by 2010 towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the cost of units built under the Canada-BC Affordable Housing Agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.






Darija Tomasic

BC Housing

604 456-8845

604 374-4534 (cell)


Christina Wensley

Regional Events Coordinator


604 737-4032



Albert Teng

Executive Director

Icelandic Care Home Höfn Society

604 321-3812


Anna Marie D’Angelo

Public Affairs Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health
604 708-5340



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