BVRH January Bulletin

BVRH Bulletin

January 2015

Summary of the December annual meeting:

The board held its annual elections on December 16, 2014.

  • Joanna McCallum was acclaimed as Chairperson.
  • Brian Standish was acclaimed as Vice Chairperson.
  • Joanna McCallum, Carolyn Montgomery and Grant Canning were appointed to the Building Committee.
  • Joanna McCallum, Esmé Comfort and Brian Standish were appointed to the Personnel Committee.

Regular meetings of the Board will be held at Bow River Seniors Lodge on the fourth Thursday of every month at 9:00am unless otherwise stated.

The board met with 22 residents. Topics included the Bow River Lodge redevelopment project and opportunities for residents to provide feedback to the board. Refreshments followed.

Summary of the December regular meeting of the board:

The board agreed to explore the development of a comprehensive fundraising program for BVRH further under the guiding principle that we cannot be great without philanthropy. Next steps include: a fundraising workshop with KEA Canada and the BVRH board.

The board learned that administration progress continues with the development of a budget proposal for the consideration of the board. The board was provided with key assumption information. Our operating budgets are prepared each year and are forecasts of expected annual revenues and planned expenditures that support the Lodge Programs supportive living operations.

The board learned that CAO has hired Danielle Montgomery to develop a website that will serve our needs, as well as to launch and manage a social media plan that will raise our profile on Facebook and Twitter.

Project occupancy rates and tenant selection:

Current occupancy rates in our accommodation programs:

Bow River Lodge                   95% occupancy

Cascade House                      100% occupancy

Bow River Homes                 96% occupancy

Mount Edith House               100% occupancy

Community Housing              100% occupancy

Rent Supplement                   100% subscription

Major project status updates:

Temporary Flood relief housing:

BVRH continues to assist the Government of Alberta with their efforts to house local victims of the southern flooding. The units are in place and while many are occupied, many of our short-term tenants have transitioned to longer-term solutions. BVRH is responsible for most of the routine maintenance and tenant administration.

Bow River Lodge Redevelopment: “This is Home”

Schedule:  The anticipated start date is early 2015. Development Permit application has been submitted to the Town of Canmore. The tender package will be posted to the Alberta Purchasing Connection website on January 9, 2015 for public tender. CAO expects a contractor to be selected in February.

Design: 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 instead of some that are retro-fitted, ensuring more effective and efficient accommodation along with much improved ability to increase care services in the future.   Aside from the better facility afforded by this design it is important to also highlight the creation of a valuable and substantial piece of property to be used to meet regional needs 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.

Economics: The current overall capital cost estimate if $15.7 million. ASHC representatives have tentatively committed to paying the total project fees upfront, with an agreement by BVRH to repay 20% of the capital costs over time. BVRH will develop a fundraising program that will help fund equipment and furniture purchases for the new building.

Communications: We will present to our member municipality’s councils once we have reliable data to share; likely after the tender closes and we have bid and schedule data. This will likely coincide with our RGI communications plan.

Next steps: Phase 2: BVRH is currently developing an application to the recently announced ASLI grant program. Under this program projects receive 50% capital funding from the Province, as well as an operating agreement with AHS for designated levels of supportive living. We have been encouraged to apply in light of the fact that the Province is eager to build more beds, and our region has been identified as a target for some of them. Given timing surrounding Phase 1, it is possible that we will be more likely to secure ASLI funding during the 2015 round, but we’ll apply this year and if necessary apply again next year. Phase 2 would create between 54 and 75 SL3/4/D units on the footprint currently occupied by the original lodge, bringing again in place to our region. It would also have positive economic effects, hopefully taking Bow River Lodge to cost neutrality!

Levels of supportive living (very basically stated):

  1. Independent
  2. Functionally independent with or without the help of community resources. Able to function with regularly scheduled assistance. Able to make own decisions and know when needs are not being met.
  3. Require some unscheduled assistance, requires 24 hour access to home care type workers with an LPN on call. Able to make some decisions and usually know when needs are not being met.
  4. Require frequent unscheduled assistance, perhaps modified diet and foods, requires 24 hour access to LPN with RN on call. Unable to make most decisions and typically won’t know if needs are not being met.

Acronym Glossary:

AAMD&C = Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties
ADM = Assistant Deputy Minister
AHS = Alberta Health Services
AMA = Alberta Municipal Affairs
APHAA = Alberta Public Housing Administrators Association
ASCHA = Alberta Seniors Citizens Housing Association
ASHC = Alberta Social Housing Corporation
AUMA = Alberta Urban Municipalities Association
BHC = Banff Housing Corporation
BRL = Bow River Lodge
BVRH = Bow Valley Regional Housing
CAO = Chief Administrative Officer
CCHC = Canmore Community Housing Corp
CNIT = Core Need Income Threshold
EHC = Enhanced Homecare
HMB = Housing Management Body
MO = Ministerial Order
RGI = Rent Geared to Income
SL = Supportive Living
SSC = Seniors’ self-contained (independent seniors housing)

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 usually do not 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 Municipal Affairs (Housing).

As the HMB for the Bow Valley region we are responsible for social housing and 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 a total of 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 is committed to providing appropriate housing services to the Bow Valley region seniors and residents of modest means who struggle to secure such accommodations.

We manage:

  • seniors’ lodges in Canmore and Banff that currently house up to 85 residents
  • seniors’ independent housing buildings in Canmore and Banff that have 62 one-bedroom apartments
  • 58 family housing residences in Canmore
  • Interim relief housing for about 6 households displaced by the June floods
  • the Rent Supplement Program in the region that currently provides financial assistance to about 40 Bow Valley households

All told we currently house, or help to house about 350 residents of the Bow Valley in 8 permanent and 1 interim housing projects encompassing 41 separate buildings between 4 separate communities.

We are a self-governing body. We partner 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

In ensuring the residents of the Bow Valley region have access to appropriate housing options we envision a collaborative approach whereby all local and provincial housing stakeholders work together to respond to community trends and housing needs in a responsible and timely fashion.

We will remain committed to staying informed of relevant and valid community trends and housing needs.

We will remain committed to securing funding to develop infrastructure that meets the identified needs in social housing.

We will remain committed to innovation, service excellence, best practices, and to being an employer of choice in the Bow Valley region.

BVRH has about 36 employees based in either Bow River Lodge in Canmore or Cascade House in Banff. Our Administration and Maintenance Teams are based in Canmore but take care of all of our operations. As well, we have Housekeeping and Food Service Teams plus a Recreation Coordinator at our lodge in Canmore. Our Cascade House Team serves the residents of our lodge in Banff.

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.


These bulletins are available on our website at