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Wednesday, 01 August 2012 17:58

More rental units for independent living in Swift Current

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Seniors looking at affordable options for independent living in Swift Current now have more choice with the completion of 24 rental units.

The $2.2 million development is an initiative of Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing Inc. in partnership with Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Occupation of the new one-bedroom units, which is located on Swift Current’s south side next to the Palliser Regional Care Centre, has already started.
Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing is a non-profit housing corporation with 20 participating municipalities in the Swift Current area. Its board of directors consists of three representatives  from the City of Swift Current and three representatives from the other municipalities.
City of Swift Current Councillor Dan Martens, who is one of the City board members, said most of the work on the project is completed and final touches such as landscaping are being carried out.
The 562-square-foot units have in-floor heating, vaulted ceilings and private parking in a courtyard setting.
“They’re a little smaller but they’ve been designed for low-income seniors, very attractive units, and the rental fees certainly reflect that as well,” he said.
The units are suitable for a single or couple and Martens said occupants will typically pay a rental fee of $500 per month.
“I think there is a demand for it certainly and as time goes on now I think we’re going to see even more pressure and more demand for senior’s housing,” he mentioned.
Prairie Pioneers Independent Housing also received a $1.6 million grant from SHC and CMHC for the renovation of the existing one-bedroom duplex units. These 70 rental units, which are located next to the Prairie Pioneers Lodge, were built in the 1950s.
Martens said many of these units have reached a significant state of disrepair.
“There hasn’t been an awful lot that’s been done to them,” he explained. “We tried to upgrade some of the units along the way to try to put some funds back into it, but of course if you’re looking at 70 units it’s a significant cost to do all of that.”
Renovation work has already started. It will include replacement of siding, soffits, doors, sidewalks and gutters. The grant also allows them to address larger items such as the sewer system.
“It’s a cast iron system that’s basically beginning to fail already,” he said. “So it was really important that we get some of that underway.”
Other work will include electrical improvements, upgrades to the venting system, some new furnaces and new windows.
“There’s just many, many things that are needed there,” he said. “It’s just a really good thing to see.”
The intention is to have the deep services and exterior work done before the onset of cold weather. The grant conditions require that the project is completed within a year.
Residents have been informed about the project and for the most part they will be able to remain in their homes while the work continues.
“When it comes to some of the interior things that we’re doing they’re going to be out for a few days when that happens,” Martens said. “Of course, there’s inconvenience with that, which is unfortunate, but having said that, this is the opportunity to get those units back up to speed.”

Read 7707 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2012 16:06