Two months ago, I had the privilege of visiting with the Indo Canadian Seniors Society and it was an honour to celebrate their achievements over the past year and recognize the positive contributions of our community elders. After listening to their concerns, I was proud to support a motion advocating for a new seniors centre in the Sunset community. This week, I sponsored a motion allocating $300,000 for City staff to undertake a feasibility study - including site selection and concept design for a new Seniors Centre in South Vancouver.
Over the next 25 years, not only will the demand for seniors facilities increase dramatically but so will our seniors’ population. Vancouver will have an 80% increase of residents aged 65 – 74 and we expect a 100% increase of residents older than 75. However, of the City’s eight seniors’ facilities, there are only three located in East Vancouver. Providing greater seniors services is a priority for me and my council and I’m happy we have the support of the neighbourhood and the community to move this new Sunset Seniors Centre forward.
City staff will work with the Park Board on a consultative process with the South Vancouver residents, including the input of the seniors groups in the Sunset area, the City’s Seniors’ Advisory Committee, and the community at large. Staff will also explore potential matching funding resources for the construction of the building from the provincial and federal governments. This model is similar to the Killarney Seniors Centre - driven by your Vision council - which is anticipated to be complete by March 2018.
Sunset is gaining momentum as a vibrant, diverse, intergenerationally inclusive community, building on a strong history and community foundation. As an example, Council recently approved a new development at the old Blue Boy Hotel at Fraser and Marine Drive in South Vancouver. These 4 mixed use buildings will have over 15,000 sq. ft. of neighbourhood servicing retail space, $170,000 dedicated to start a new 37-space childcare facility, and $65,000 for a new neighbourhood house. It will also feature 368 residential homes, of which 43% will be family-oriented with 2-3 bedrooms. This project will also contribute $681,000 to the Affordable Housing Reserve to increase the City’s affordable housing supply in and around the Sunset Community area.
I’m confident that, together, we can find a space that seniors – and the broader community - can be proud of: one that brings families together, keeps seniors close to the amenities and community they cherish, and helps the Sunset community prosper for years to come.