Prentice government advances plan to boost seniors care spaces across Alberta

The government is addressing the growing need for continuing care spaces in Alberta.
As the next step in ensuring seniors have accommodation options that fit their needs, a targeted 1,500 continuing care living spaces will be constructed in both rural and urban areas.

“Albertans want their government to make fiscally prudent decisions that reflect their priorities. This investment shows we are directing funds to where they are needed most – to supporting our vulnerable residents, who deserve to live with dignity and grace.”

– Jim Prentice, Premier

Government has issued an Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) Request for Proposals (RFP), which will specifically target areas of the province that show a need for supportive living spaces based on information gathered by Alberta Health Services.

Deadlines for the RFP are December 19, with the successful applicants announced early in the new year. Priority will be given to projects ready to begin development within six months.

These funds are in addition to the 1,400 spaces that are set to come online by the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“Government is committed to providing safe, affordable, quality housing that meets the diverse needs of Alberta seniors. I will work with community and faith-based partners to make sure that seniors can receive the care they need, in an appropriate place, while staying close to family and friends.”

– Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors

Supportive living is designed for people whose care needs mean they are no longer able to stay in their own homes. Residents have their own private rooms, meals, housekeeping, and 24-7 professional nursing care services, depending on their care needs.

Grants typically cover 50 per cent of the capital costs, with any remaining amount coming from the applicants. All projects will be built according to provincial continuing care design guidelines, including B2 major occupancy safety codes, meaning residents will be able to age in place, staying in the same location, even as their care needs change.

ASLI funding is available to municipalities, not-for-profits, Métis settlements, housing management bodies, local housing authorities, community groups and private sector organizations.

Previously budgeted funding of $120 million from the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative will be dedicated to construction of these new spaces. This RFP will also accept applications for $60 million in ASLI grants for projects that address the issues of seniors waiting in acute care for a space in continuing care, providing the opportunity for applicants to develop both types of units in one location.

The Alberta government has invested more than $600 million in supportive living since it began funding capital grant programs in 1999. Since then, Alberta has funded more than 8,000 new supportive living spaces.