After over a year of budgeting and funding, the Lilac Terrace renovations are underway and will soon provide an additional 12 units of affordable senior housing to Elk Valley residents.
Last Monday afternoon, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kootenay-Columbia David Wilks, Sparwood mayor Cal McDougall, MLA for Kootenay East Bill Bennett and Area A Director Mike Sosnowski were on site to speak with residents and celebrate the project, which received a $600,000 investment from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Affordable Rental Housing initiative along with $200,000 investment from Area A.
The ceremony commenced with the Lilac Terrace Administer Deborah Friesen welcoming the guests and inviting them to speak.
“I’m really happy to be here today,” Wilks said. “Without Deborah this would not be happening. I’m glad to see that the local community has really stepped up and provided some great opportunities.”
The newly expanded Lilac Terrace will provide 42 units for seniors with low to moderate incomes, a huge addition to the current 30 units that were build in 2001.
The expansion will also provide residents with a palliative care facility.
“Pallative care is so valuable to the community, especially to the resident that requires it and to the family that lives here,” said Sosnowski. “It’s great to see what can be accomplished when all levels of government and community partners work together.”
Sosnowski went on to say, “Our residents are our greatest resource and looking after our seniors has to be our greatest accomplishment.”
Along with the $600,000 received through the Affordable Rental Housing initiative, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) contributed $500,000 and the District of Sparwood will be providing $255,907 in municipal grants.
Bennett sent his sentiments to the CBT, stating, “Columbia Basin Trust has been a marvelous partner with the federal government and BC Housing in helping to support the creation of affordable housing for seniors in the Kootenay region.”
McDougall reiterated Bennett’s remarks, adding, “We do have a great advantage in this area to be able to have an organization such as the CBT that we can use and lever a lot of funding that comes from them.”
Former CBT board member Cindy Gallinger was also in attendance during the ceremony.
Renovations for the expansion are expected to be completed by early 2016.
Elk Valley Senior Housing Society president Robert Burritt and a Lilac Terrace resident were also invited to speak during the Lilac Terrace renovation ceremony.
“The society is proud of the difference that Lilac Terrace is making in the lives of our seniors and is proud of the place that it has in our community,” Burritt said.
Along with this affordable housing project, Wilks announced during the ceremony that the governments of Canada and British Columbia will also be providing joint funding of $558,000 to Veneto Place in Fernie through the Affordable Rental Housing initiative.