Work has begun on the construction of the first Grande Spirit Foundation seniors lodge to be built in the area since the late 1970’s. The 150 unit affordable housing seniors development is being built on the north end of Clairmont. County Councillor Richard Harpe, who also sits on the Grande Spirit committee, says only villa style seniors homes have been built since the Wildrose Manor opened in 1978.
“This is a really needed project. Seniors need homes, they need rooms. Our contract with the 12 municipalities that we have is that we provide affordable housing for low income seniors, and there’s a whole slough of low income seniors that are waiting for rooms.”
Harpe says in some cases, seniors who have found themselves more than 2 years back on the waiting list for a room have just given up and dropped off the list.
A joint grant from the province and the federal government will provide $19.6 million for the construction of the building. Peace River MP Chris Warkentin says the federal government values the support of the region’s aging residents.
“I’d certainly value the opportunity for seniors to be able to age in communities that they helped build. I think it is important for the well being of the seniors but it is also important for the well being of the community. It’s important that seniors be able to be close to their families, seniors continue to provide help and support to their families.”
The remaining $11-12 million dollars needed will be financed by the Grande Spirit Foundation.