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Blackfalds moves forward with seniors housing project

Public engagement meeting requests applications for plus-55 housing development

The Town of Blackfalds made progress with their plan for a plus 55 seniors housing development in the community.

The Town held a community engagement meeting on Jan. 16th to quantify the need for seniors housing in the community — with around 35 community members attending. The meeting brought in Town Council and administration to explain the purpose of the project, along with members of the Bethany Group and the Lacombe Foundation who are spearheading the development.

Residents also had the opportunity to learn about some of the design elements of the proposed development.

“We had three design options presented by our architects,” Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole said. “In that, they offered a couple different options: Number 1 was what it would look like with subsidized housing and the other what it would look like if we moved forward with lease for life housing.”

The Town is asking potential and interested residents to submit applications either online at the Blackfalds FCSS website or by contacting FCSS directly. Applications will allow the Town to reapply to the Provincial Senior’s Housing Ministry in order to prove the need for seniors housing in the community

“What we found with the surveys we put forward is a growing need,” Poole said. “At this point, we are trying to determine the exact need and the way that we could provide housing that is best suited. That is why we are putting out a request for applications to be put it in.”

The development of the land, which was purchased by the Town, will be built in two stages.

“We are looking at putting in for Stage 1 an up to 12-unit one-level facility that would house up to 12 people,” Poole said. “If a lot of people came forward looking at lease-for-life, we could move onto Stage 2 fairly quickly. We have designs in Stage 2 for up to 12-16 units, depending on the mix we decide to put in.”

Poole said the developments are being coordinated by Bethany and the Lacombe Foundation along with other projects in the region, but the develop is a made-in-Blackfalds solution.

“We are hoping to find folks currently living in Blackfalds or very closer around Blackfalds that would move into our citizen housing,” he said.

Poole said it is important for interest applicants to submit their applications even if they are currently not ready to move. The applications sent to the Senior’s Housing Ministry is way to prove the needs of the community to the Province.

“Even if we are shovel ready next September, we need to show the demand that is out there with people putting in applications that shows their interest and the need,” Poole said.

“We are excited about the project. A year ago we had a piece of land that had no potential. I think what we have done is put the potential into that land and we are moving forward with it at a very responsible rate.

“We are determining the demand within the community and the project will be an expression of what the people in Blackfalds are looking for.”

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