Although the seniors housing project for the Southside has been in the works since 2007, the Southside Seniors Housing Society is confident they are now getting closer to the finish line.
“It’s been an ongoing process,” explained Kathy Hoesing, secretary for the Southside Seniors Housing Society. “What held us up was that BC Housing wasn’t offering any funding for the seniors project that we wanted to do; we’ve been waiting, so now it’s just come up again; we got ourselves a consultant and they are putting our proposal together.”
The society is proposing a not-for-profit, independent living seniors housing complex with six units. The housing complex would be situated at Hospital Point, Southbank.
“This project would allow our seniors the option of staying in their community in an affordable, safe and homelike environment close to family and friends,” said Hoesing. “This option is not available now; staying on the Southside would improve the mental and physical well-being of our seniors as well as their overall health.”
Hoesing said the housing complex would be an important addition to the various services already provided to Southside residents by the Southside Health &Wellness Centre, ambulance services and the new community paramedicine program.
So far the society has acquired 10 acres of lakefront property, conducted pre-engineering work and rezoning of land, cleared and levelled the housing site and drawn up housing project plans.
The group has secured approximately $100,000 for the project. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako was the most recent contributor, providing $3500 toward the project. However, Hoesing said it’s still unclear how much the project will cost.
“We don’t know all the details yet; we are still negotiating on room size, that’s why we can’t say much yet,” she said.
Meanwhile the Southside Seniors Housing Society has been asking for letters of support from local governments and organizations to support their proposal to BC Housing. They are also requesting funding from other organizations and programs, including the Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing program.
If all goes according to plan, construction could start as early as 2018.