Castlegar’s Rota Villa seniors complex going strong after 50 years

Castlegar’s Rota Villa seniors complex going strong after 50 years

Board intends to keep non-profit complex community run

For 50 years, Rota Villa has been providing a home for Castlegar seniors and today’s board of directors plans to ensure it thrives for another 50 years.

The idea of a community-run seniors housing project first began to be tossed around the Castlegar Rotary Club in the mid-1960s. It was an idea that the club was so passionate about that each member signed a $1,000 pledge in order to obtain a loan necessary to get the project off of the ground.

Since the first 12 units opened in 1969, Rota Villa has undergone numerous changes both in the physical structure and in organizational management.

The Castlegar Villa Society was formed to manage the operation and over the years countless volunters, society members and board members have played a role in ensuring low and moderate income seniors have an affordable place to live.

Today Rota Villa consists of 40 housing units and is run by a dedicated group of people who are continually trying to maintain aging infrastructure and upgrade whatever they can as funds and grants become available.

It is no small task, but the Castlegar Villa Society is dedicated to keeping this facility run by the local community and has resisted turning it over to BC Housing.

“When something is community run, the community can control it,” said former board member and present society member Marsha Carew. “It is a community effort and it brings us closer together collectively when we can do these things.”

In 2013 the society reached a point of crisis, but a vote to hand the residence over to BC Housing failed and the entire board of directors resigned.

This resulted in an entirely new board that was fully committed to keeping Rota Villa operating stepping forward.

“Six years later, we are moving towards peak performance,” explained Marsha Carew. “Which means we have staff, an executive director working and liaising with the board, the board doing its part governing the operation. It is exciting to be at this point.”

The Castlegar Villa Society’s board and core group of volunteers are all old enough to reside in the facility themselves, with president Karen Smith topping 80. While they are dedicated and enthusiastic, they would like to see some younger people take up the cause.

“There is a big need for housing for low-income seniors,” said Smith. “We would eventually love to create more housing for seniors.”

In fact, more than a dozen people are on the facility’s waiting list and Smith thinks they could easily fill 30 more units.

Smith and Carew also feel that keeping the sense of community at the residence is vitally important.

“It’s a community within a community,” said Smith.

“We are preserving this for our own families and for the children of other people who live in this community,” added Carew.

Carew says caring for one another and role modeling that for your children is the way to build a strong community.

“The important thing is giving of yourself,” added Smith. “Caring for everyone.”

RELATED: Castlegar seniors and youth connect through tea and talent

“I think the community can be very proud of Rota Villa, because it has come so far and has been here for 50 years,” said Carew.

“I have a real passion for this place. I think it is so important for a community to have something like this. It is a wonderful thing to offer your citizens.”

Providing seniors with secure affordable housing is something the Castlegar Villa Society intends to keep doing for many years to come.



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Castlegar’s Rota Villa seniors complex going strong after 50 years

Just Posted

Changes are coming to the city’s animal control bylaw. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar tightening animal bylaws

The City of Castlegar is planning on giving its animal control bylaw… Continue reading

One person was killed and two others sent to hospital following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 97A between Armstrong and Enderby Saturday, Jan. 9. (Black Press file photo)
Castlegar man facing theft and fraud charges

Charges related to thefts from unlocked vehicles

Castlegar City Council at a January Zoom meeting. Clockwise: Maria McFaddin, Bergen Price, Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff, Cherryl MacLeod, Florio Vassilakakis, Dan Rye.
Castlegar council temporarily fills vacancies left by departing mayor

Councillor Dan Rye will serve as the acting mayor until the byelection

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Most Read