Thanks to a grant from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), this summer the City of Martensville will conduct a feasibility study and create a functional plan to develop an affordable seniors housing facility in the community.
The population of Martensville is generally quite young (according to Statistics Canada, the median age is 31.1), and dwellings that are appropriate for seniors, particularly as they as they age, do not currently exist in the City.
“Our research with existing residents tells us that people live here because they love our community,” says Dillon Shewchuk, Community and Economic Development Manager for the City of Martensville. “We know that as people age they have more health care needs, and possibly less income, and because we don’t have affordable housing for seniors, they have no choice but to move. We want our seniors to be able to stay in their community for as long as they wish, but to achieve that we need to have an affordable housing with a care component included as well.”
The $10,000 matching grant under the Encouraging Community Housing Options Program under SHC will be used to conduct a feasibility study that will determine things like facility size, level of care that could be provided, and services and amenities that could be included. A business plan will also be developed to determine the overall viability of the project in terms of cost. Once that information is available, the City can identify potential partners to construct and operate the facility.
The idea of affordable seniors housing in Martensville is not new. “We’ve been looking at different models for seniors housing for the better part of a year,” says Shewchuk. “We’re now at the point where it makes sense to conduct a formal study, determine a location if it is feasible, fine-tune the details and start the development process.”
While the City cannot comment on where such a facility would be developed, there is currently opportunity in the south east sector plan, which is City-owned land.