The City of Martensville created the ‘Martensville Seniors Affordable Housing and Care Project Functional Plan’ in order to help prepare for the future growth and diversity of the housing market within the community. According to Dillon Shewchuk, Community Economic Development Manager, there are two major aspects to the plan, which include affordable housing and seniors care.
A year ago this March, the project was completed, and has now opened up potential opportunities for the addition of a more diverse housing market in Martensville. “We always knew that there was a need in the community so in 2018, we put some real resources in trying to develop this project and create a tool that we could use to try to attract more affordable housing and senior housing options,” Shewchuk explained.
Having the information in place was done in order to share this with potential partners, businesses, non-profits, etc. to work together to create more housing options. Since the initial plan was created, the Martensville Care Home has opened their doors, which has created some new options for senior care within the community, thereby taking the first steps towards additional housing opportunities. Previously, if a senior had a change in health, even though they may already be established within Martensville, they would be forced to look at care in another community. “We want people to be able to potentially age out in the community that they are from,” Shewchuk added.
With the addition of the Martensville Care Home, there have been other inquiries for small scale senior care homes, which led to the City of Martensville working through zoning changes to allow for senior care within the R1 and R1A zones in the community. There have also been several talks with a large developer of senior care working towards the potential for a larger sale senior care facility. “Although we have a few things in the works, we have nothing concrete at this time. Our goal going forward will be to continue to pursue these opportunities and find other opportunities to find other organizations that do senior housing or seniors care. We want to speak to them about the findings of our project and the advantages of our community and what we want to achieve.”
Additionally, the City of Martensville has expressed interest to the province and Sask Housing specifically for the establishment of affordable housing, noting to them that they are interested in diversifying the housing market. “Generally speaking, our goal is to try to find ways to further diversify the types of housing that we have here in Martensville along the full spectrum from social housing, affordable housing, market housing and the right type of housing for seniors and senior care.”
This past fall, there was interest from a potential builder that was looking at an option to put affordable housing in place. Following the initial meeting, the builder remained interested and Shewchuk is hoping to have more concrete plans in place in the upcoming weeks. “When we met, we were in a good position because we had done this project so we were well versed and well prepared to make the argument on why affordable housing would be a positive investment.” If the builder is on board to go ahead with the plan, Shewchuk hopes that something will be taken to City Council in the next quarter.
Although Martensville has seen much growth, it is still a fairly young community, and Shewchuk noted that there has not been any social housing developed since the mid-80’s and that compared to other communities, Martensville has a very low ratio of social housing. “People who are struggling or have a lower income don’t have housing options here, which forces them to move from the community. The same goes for affordable housing and senior care. When you don’t have a fully diverse housing market, you begin to limit growth, which can impact business growth and potentially limit the services that make sense to have in a community,” said Shewchuk.
For more information regarding the ‘Martensville Seniors Affordable Housing and Care Project Functional Plan’, visit https://www.martensville.ca/pages/planning_for_the_future.html.
To learn more about the Martensville Care Home, contact (639) 441-0125 or email email@example.com.