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For Immediate Release


March 27, 2009

Ministry of Housing and Social Development




NANAIMO – Seniors in Nanaimo now have improved access to support services thanks to the opening of 82 units of supportive housing for seniors at 10 Buttertubs Drive, Minister of Agriculture and Lands and MLA for Nanaimo-Parksville Ron Cantelon announced today.


“This new supportive housing development will enrich the lives of our seniors and people with disabilities by providing the support and services they need to maintain their independence,” said Cantelon. “Partnering with housing societies allows B.C.’s growing seniors’ population to stay in the communities they call home.”


The Province invested $3.8 million to renovate the 82 units, making physical improvements to the building such as adding bathroom grab bars, improved lighting in common areas, and other security and safety features.


            On-site support services will also be available, providing a basic level of assistance while allowing seniors to retain their independence. Support services include a daily meal, weekly light housekeeping, once-a-week laundry service for bedding and linens, 24-hour response, and social and recreational activities.


            The support services are administered by the General George R. Pearkes Senior Citizens’ Housing Society, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1971. The society has been involved in seniors’ rental housing since the 1970s, and currently owns and operates the Nanaimo complex known as Buttertubs.


            “Our mission is to provide comfortable homes and exceptional care to seniors, assisting them to live well in supportive communities,” said Betty Barthel, president of General George R. Pearkes Senior Citizens’ Housing Society. “We're pleased that we can offer our seniors the opportunity to remain in their community close to family and friends as their care needs change.”


The Province has exceeded its Budget 2007 Seniors’ Supportive Housing program commitment to upgrade or convert up to 750 subsidized housing units to supportive housing. In 2009/10, the Province’s budget for affordable housing and shelters is $469 million, more than four times as much as in 2001.






Darija Tomasic

BC Housing

604 456-8845

604 374-4534 (cell)

Betty Barthel

General George R. Pearkes Senior Citizens’ Housing Society

250 753-5031


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