Alberta announces funds to upgrade seniors lodges

A Red Deer seniors housing foundation will receive more than $600,000 towards upgrading its three lodges as part of a larger provincewide financial investment.

A Red Deer seniors housing foundation will receive more than $600,000 towards upgrading its three lodges as part of a larger provincewide financial investment.

Piper Creek Foundation will be among Central Alberta housing management bodies to receive dollars through an Alberta Municipal Affairs investment of $30.9 million.

Foundation executive director Geoff Olson said the money would be used for its Piper Creek Lodge, Parkvale Lodge and Pines Lodge in town.

Some of the money would be applied to installing a second elevator inside Parkvale Lodge, he said.

Olson said they are looking at where the rest of the money could go, but this is definitely welcome news.

“Boiler systems, new windows — anything to extend the life of the lodges, that’s where we want to put our money,” said Olson on Wednesday.

The lodges range in age from about 25 years old to 55 years old, so the upgrades are needed, he added.

In total, the three lodges have 220 units.

Each housing management body will receive $3,000 for every unit it owns or manages.

The money can be used for various building repairs and mechanical and plumbing upgrades; fire and safety upgrades; and kitchen, dining room and resident room expansions/renovations.

Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said these lodges are essential accommodations for seniors who wish to stay close to their families and neighbours as they age, especially those who live in rural Alberta.

Up to 153 senior lodges, 11 cottages and eight unique homes could benefit from the cash injection. Of these, 60 per cent are owned by housing management bodies and 40 per cent are owned by the Alberta Social Housing Corp.

Doug Mills, president of Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association, said the investment is needed.

“Many of the lodges are owned by the government so it’s partly their responsibility to get them redone,” said Mills.

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