The announcement of $13.3 million was made at a special presentation at Parkland Manor in Rimbey last week. Taking part in the announcement was Ponoka County Reeve and Rimoka chairman Paul McLauchlin

Rimbey receives funding for new and improved senior’s housing

The federal and provincial governments have given the official nod.

The federal and provincial governments have given the official nod.

It’s true.

A total of $13.3 million has been approved for affordable housing for low-income seniors in Rimbey.

The announcement was made Wednesday and in the next few months planning will be ongoing to make sure the project gets off the ground as quickly as possible.

Bethany CAO Denis Beasley said Rimbey residents can expect to see some action happening regarding seniors’ housing early next year.

“There will be something started by next spring,” he said. “Whether it’s a hole in the ground or renovations at the existing manor, progress will have started.”

A 40-unit senior’s lodge is to be built on land south of the Best Western. Ponoka County purchased 8.54 acres of land from SJC Development Corporation for $310,000 for the new lodge.

As part of the project, 63 units at Parkland Manor will be renovated into 37 larger units.

To fund the project, Rimoka Housing Foundation will receive $11.2 million in joint funding from the Governments of Canada and Alberta with an additional $2.1 million in funding from the province through Alberta Social Housing Corporation surplus earnings, for a total of $13.3 million.

The formal announcement that $13.3 million to go towards affordable housing has been approved was made last Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, on behalf of the Honorable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), and Greg Weadick, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

McLauchlin and Rimbey Mayor Rick Pankiw both appeared happy to be able to share it with the residents.

“Finally,” said McLauchlin. “We can finally make this announcement. We stand on the shoulders of many great people that brought this to us,” he added. “We look forward to working with government and our stakeholders to renew our lodge spaces in Rimbey that will ultimately give our residents a better quality of life and continue to be a great community asset for the next generation of seniors.”

“It’s amazing what we can do when our community pulls together. I would like to thank former councils and Rimoka Board members for all their due diligence in making this become a reality today,” added Pankiw.

Greg Weadick, Minister of Municipal Affairs said 70 per cent of the lodges in Alberta are in rural areas.

“It is exciting. It means couples can stay together and not have to leave the community.”

The partnership formed with other levels of government and Rimoka Housing was a crucial factor in the end result, he said.

“The partnerships were critical to making this work. I’m grateful we could make this a reality.”

MP Calkins said funding renovation projects like this one is a great way to get the local economy moving, because it puts construction workers and trades people to work quickly.

“These units will be more than just safe and affordable places to live. They will be key to a better life for the residents who will call them home.”

Calkins noted Parkland Manor has been an important part of this community since 1972, providing affordable housing, meals and other services to residents, as well as opportunities to en hence their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual well-being through a variety of life-enriching activities.

“By providing more rental options for local seniors, these new housing units will contribute to the economic and social well-being of the entire community.”