Bay Vista Commons reaches milestone

t Assisted living facility nearly at 50 percent occupancy.

Less than a year after opening its door, the Bremerton Housing Authority’s assisted living facility, the Bay Vista Commons is having uncommon success.

The facility is nearly at the 50-percent occupancy milestone, exceeding the BHA’s expectations, said BHA executive director Kurt Wiest.

“The importance placed on our increasing occupancy is driven by the needs of our area seniors for the care, services and housing that Bay Vista Commons provides,” Wiest said. “We are pleased with the relationships that we have developed with area case workers in Western Washington, allowing professional partnering to meet the needs of our area’s seniors. Given this demand, we fully anticipate that occupancy growth will continue to grow at a healthy pace.”

That success is due in part to the housing authority’s outstanding managing partner in Senior Services of America, headquartered in Tacoma and its staff, he said.

As far as operational finances are concerned, the project remains financially feasible by partnering with the Washington state Department of Health and Human Services for Medicaid funds, he said. BHA anticipates it will be able to access Project-based Section 8 assistance for the building to ensure long-term affordability for area residents.

“By ensuring a financially sound operation, BVC will be a positive and contributing member of the Bremerton business community while achieving our ultimate goal of providing high quality care, services and housing to area seniors,” he said.

The facility also provides a positive social component for residents of the community, he said.

“A thriving community exists when residents as individuals can live their life, with privacy and dignity, building and maintain personal relationships and participate in making choices in their daily living,” he explained. “We are thrilled to be a part of this community.”

With the facility’s success has come the creation of 25 new full-time equivalent positions, and once the facility reaches its maximum occupancy that number will jump to 40, he said, adding that the facility has had a positive economic impact on the community at-large.

“By doing business with local vendors and merchants, and providing employment opportunities in the community, Bay Vista Commons will be a positive contributing member of the Bremerton business community,” he said. “Our goal, to maintain a fiscally healthy operation, will be achieved because of our responsibility to the Bremerton community at large, our residents and their families.”

On the the marketing side of the facility’s operations, there haven’t been any significant challenges, Wiest noted.

“Because it is affordable to persons with a low income, the demand is high,” he said. “We anticipate that very soon we will have a long waiting list for residency.”

The professional team at Bay Vista Commons is led by executive director Theresa Bacon, who has been instrumental in assisting her staff in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) case managers to achieve ongoing success with the movement of occupancy, Wiest said.

Interest in the facility has come from both local seniors and those in other parts of Western Washington, he said.

“Bay Vista Commons is able to meet the needs for a high number of our local seniors, while also providing housing opportunities for other seniors within our state,” he said. “The demand for the type of housing, care and services provided by Bay Vista Commons, validates the vision with which this project was developed, and verifies our belief that more communities such as ours are needed in our state. We intend to make Bay Vista Commons the ‘standard’ for future affordable assisted living communities that will be developed to serve our state’s senior population.”

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