Housing Overview

Low-Income Housing ("Subsidized")

Individual rental units for low-income persons who are independent. No supports are provided (i.e. no housekeeping or meals). Some buildings have separate, outside entrances for each unit, while others have unit entrances from a common hallway. Eligibility varies by building/housing society with some units designated specifically for seniors, adults with disabilities, or families. Rent is income-based.

Supportive Housing

Individual units for persons who are independent. Some buildings have separate outside entrances for each unit while others have unit entrances from a common hallway. Supports provided vary by housing provider and are either included in monthly rent or available on a fee-for-service basis. Personal care, such as bathing, dressing or grooming assistance, is not included in standard monthly rent.

Supportive Housing units may have differing features (e.g. number of meals per day, in-unit kitchen and washroom facilities, whether smoking or pets are permitted) and is generally offered in one of the following three options:

  1. Room and Board - private bedrooms in a shared residence. Units may have private or shared bathing facilities.
  2. Larger Seniors Residence - individual unit with a private bathroom. May also have in unit kitchen/kitchenette, or sitting area, as well as access to common areas of larger, shared residence.
  3. Other - alternative housing situation.

Supportive Housing residences may or may not provide the following as a part of monthly rent. You are encouraged to inquire specifically prior to move-in:

  • specialized diets, such as for diabetes, vegetarian or allergies
  • housekeeping and/or linen laundry
  • emergency call systems
  • 24-hour staff or Activity Coordinators
  • shuttle bus services, such as to the grocery store, pharmacy, shopping mall, etc.
  • transportation to personal appointments, such as doctor or dentist appointments

Other Housing

Alternate types of housing arrangements e.g. for-purchase housing, with or without optional services

Assisted Living

Assisted Living residences provide another option to those who need a little more help to live independently, but are not at the stage of requiring 24-hour, professional care in a long-term care home. Interior Health, in partnership with BC Housing, has created many publicly subsidized assisted living units throughout the region. The concept is based on:

  • maximizing independence
  • promoting personal decision-making
  • emphasizing choice, responsibility and dignity

Assisted living combines affordable housing with personal care based on your needs, as well as other support and hospitality services:

  • nutritious meals and snacks
  • housekeeping
  • laundry services
  • social and recreational activities
  • 24-hour emergency response service for safety and peace-of-mind

Home health services or rehabilitation services such as nursing, physiotherapy or occupational therapy from Interior Health may be arranged for assisted living residents in the same manner as if they were residing in their own home.

Eligibility and Application

Applications for publicly-subsidized assisted living units are processed through Interior Health Home and Community Care - you do not need to contact the facility directly.

Residents of publicly-subsidized Assisted Living residences must meet the eligibility requirements set by the Ministry of Health Services. When a resident can no longer safely reside in this semi-independent setting, they will be assessed for an alternate placement.

Talk to your Home and Community Care Health Professional about an assessment, or if you are not receiving home health services from Interior Health, contact your local home and community care office to request an assessment.


The monthly charge for publicly-subsidized Assisted Living is based on income. Residents pay 70% of their monthly after-tax income, up to a maximum amount. Persons receiving disability benefits from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development pay a fixed rate.

This charge is paid monthly to the Assisted Living Operator along with a small monthly BC Hydro surcharge.

Long-term Care Home

For persons who require 24-hour professional care.

The purpose of Interior Health's Healthy Community Care Facilities Program is to ensure that facilities promote the health, safety and dignity of vulnerable people in licensed care. A license is required for facilities that provide care to 3 or more people who are not related to the care provider or are not a sibling group.

Long-term Care Home Client Rate Structure - Effective January 2010

In British Columbia, the cost of long-term care home services is shared between the Province and clients. Since the long-term care home policy was established in the late 1970s, clients have been assessed a co-payment fee based on their income for room and board, such as meals and routine laundry.

Health authorities cover the full cost of health care, such as nursing. In addition, residents receive full coverage for most prescription medication, routine medical supplies and equipment, as well as some over the counter drugs. This applies to all publicly-funded long-term care home services, regardless of ownership.

Beginning January 2010, a more equitable rate structure will be introduced for all long-term care home clients to reduce the burden on low-income seniors and support ongoing improvements to the long-term care system. Changes to the current rate structure will ensure that clients with the lowest income are not unreasonably charged.

Effective January 2010, long-term care clients will pay up to 80 per cent of their after-tax income toward their room and board costs (up to a maximum of $2,932 per month). The new minimum monthly client rate of $894.40 per month will provide most clients with a minimum of $275 a month to cover personal expenses.

No one who needs long-term care services will be turned away – a hardship review is available through health authorities on a case-by-case basis. Please visit their website.

Interior Health staff issues licenses, monitors facility operations and responds to complaints to assure the public that minimum standards for health and safety are being maintained. Access to subsidized long-term care is through an assessment by Interior Health staff.

For more information on subsidized long-term services or to request an eligibility assessment, contact the Interior Health Home and Community Care Office: (250) 980-1400. Please do not contact the Operator directly regarding Interior Health subsidized long-term care. Please visit their website.