By Marianne Curtis
The sod has been turned and construction has begun on a new fifty-two unit affordable seniors housing complex in Steinbach.
On February 11, construction of Bridgepark Manor which includes units geared towards independent living kicked off on the heels of a $3 million funding announcement by the federal and provincial governments.
Provencher MP Vic Toews was on hand to make the announcement personally.
“This new building will allow low income seniors and seniors with disabilities to stay in the community close to family and friends,” Toews. “Safe affordable housing keeps the seniors here which helps stabilize the area and strengthen the community.”
Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing and Community Development admitted that this was the first sod turning she`s attended that had construction crews already on site ready to work.
“Today is a great day, and I have never been to a sod turning before where the machinery is already out there, I am not surprised because I know this region already and when they get their minds set on they get it done and this is just another example of that.`
Steinbach Mayor Mayor Chris Goertzen is also pleased to see construction begin. The city has financially backed up the project at a rate of $1,400 per unit.
“I have had many conversations with people that have not been able to keep their families in Steinbach when they become ill and its an incredible hardship not only on the seniors but on their support networks as well,“ explained Goertzen. “This is not just for the city – the entire region will benefit from this project.”
Included in the 52 seniors’ units in Bridgepark Manor will be 15 two-bedroom units and 37 one-bedroom, independent living and fully accessible apartments for mobility-impaired residents. Rents for the one- and two-bedroom units will be at or below the current median market rent in Steinbach, and additional services, such as housekeeping and recreational programming, will be available to tenants.
Construction is expected to be complete in October 2011.
Federal funding was made available through Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Provincial funding for the project was provided by Manitoba Housing through HOMEWorks!, theProvince ofManitoba’s long-term housing strategy and investment plan.
Residents from throughout the region are expected to benefit from the construction of a new 52 unit low income seniors housing facility that is now under construction in Steinbach.