Paving crews work to put down asphalt in front of the seniors housing
co-op being built on McDiarmid Drive on Wednesday morning. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
A $5.8-million seniors housing project on is on budget and on schedule to welcome residents next spring.
Harvey Douglas, vice-president of the Western Manitoba Seniors Non-Profit Housing Co-operative Ltd., said construction is nearly 70 per cent complete on the four-storey building at 620 McDiarmid Drive.
"We have every anticipation that there will be people moving in March and April of next year, as was planned," Douglas said. "It’s been a long time coming … It’s very, very exciting."
There was a minor setback when vandals targeted a number of vacant suites last week, damaging drywall, plumbing, electrical, framing, doors and equipment. Douglas said the vandalism is not going affect the project’s timeline.
"The insurance company and everybody’s on site ... They’re back working, and progressing forward," he said, adding it could have been a lot worse.
The affordable seniors housing project will provide 34 suites — 14 one-bedroom units and 20 two-bedroom units.
The co-op was incorporated in 2009, with a goal of tackling the need for affordable housing for the elderly.
"City council made a comment when they did the approval on it, that it was 10 per cent of what was needed," Douglas said. "So we’re very anxious (to find) some other place ... to start a second and third building to help bring in more affordable housings units into play for seniors 55 and up, who are in the mid- to lower-income brackets."
Construction began on the project in March 2012. All 34 suites are spoken for.
Tenants had to commit to an upfront equity investment of $17,900 for a one-bedroom suite and up to $23,900 for shares in a two-bedroom suite.
The purchase of shares makes the tenant a member of the co-operative, which owns and manages the building, and will have a board of directors that includes tenants.
Tenants also pay a monthly fee of $590 for a one-bedroom unit and $740 for a two-bedroom suite.
"We had to have share capital collected on every suite before we could start construction. In other words, we knew who the occupants were before we even started," Douglas said.
They received $2.2 million in joint funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba, through the HOMEWorks! Rental and Co-operative Housing Program funding.
Douglas said interior work is currently underway, including cupboard and floor installation. Asphalt went in to the parking lot on Wednesday.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 8, 2012