Niagara’s long-term care homes get massive funding boost

Jonathan Zwier, Director of Finance and Administration, Shalom Manor; John Peneycad, CEO, Shalom Manor; Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, and Carolyn Bilson, Architect with MMMC Architects.

Jonathan Zwier, Director of Finance and Administration, Shalom Manor; John Peneycad, CEO, Shalom Manor; Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, and Carolyn Bilson, Architect with MMMC Architects.

The Ontario government is investing an additional $761 million to build and renovate 74 long-term care homes across the province, including $38,205,194 across the Niagara region. The additional funding is part of the province’s new funding model that helps break down historic barriers and accelerates the construction of urgently needed long-term care projects, providing seniors with the quality care they deserve.

Details were provided yesterday by Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, at Shalom Manor in Grimsby, which is receiving an additional investment of $13,046,544, helping them build 128 new spaces.

Foyer Richelieu in Welland is receiving $6,112,064, helping them build 66 new spaces and upgrading 62 spaces. Also in Welland, Royal Rose Place will receive an additional investment of just over $3 million to build 64 new spaces in that facility.

In St. Catharines, Linhaven Long-Term Care Home is receiving an additional investment of more than $16.5 million dedicated to add 81 new spaces and upgrade 41 existing spaces and Westhills Centre will get nearly $10.5 million to build 96 new spaces and upgrade 64 spaces.

Facilities in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls also received good news yesterday from the province.

Pleasant Manor in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been approved for 38 new spaces, in addition to previous allocations for 81 new spaces and 41 upgraded spaces, to create a 160-bed home. This includes the construction of a new building as part of a campus of care.

In Niagara Falls, Oakwood Manor has been approved for 70 new spaces and the upgrade of 218 existing spaces, to create a 288-bed home through the construction of a new building.

In total, Niagara will be adding 448 long-term care spaces to facilities across the region.

“Our government has been taking historic steps to improve the quality of life for our loved ones by adding capacity and upgrading Ontario’s long-term care homes,” said Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.

“We introduced the modernized funding model to build and renovate these homes faster, and we’re already seeing results, with thousands of new, safe and comfortable spaces in progress.”

“The number of people in Niagara who will need long-term care is expected to increase significantly over the next decade,” said MPP Sam Oosterhoff. “The work underway here will make sure that our loved ones will have a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need, when they need it.”

The modernized funding model is helping the government deliver on its commitment to create 30,000 beds over 10 years. The province says the new model is a departure from a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead, provides tailored incentives to address the needs of developers in different markets: rural, mid-size, urban, and large urban. It also introduces an up-front development grant to address high cost barriers to construction.

The government said it is also driving the development of new long-term care spaces by selling surplus lands with the requirement that long-term care homes be built on portions of the properties, and through the Accelerated Build pilot program, which is adding 1,280 spaces in a matter of months, not years.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a number of critical shortcomings in Ontario’s public and privately run long-term care facilities. The issues date back years and were well-known to previous governments. Niagara facilities have struggled mightily to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks with one facility being the subject of a class-action lawsuit and others having been taken over on an interim basis by Niagara Health in order to stop COVID outbreaks.

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