Shining Mountain Living Community Services has been working on plans to purchase the Holiday Inn Express property, at 2803-50th Ave. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Shining Mountain Living Community Services has been working on plans to purchase the Holiday Inn Express property, at 2803-50th Ave. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Funding falls through for Indigenous housing project in Red Deer

A Shining Mountains Living Community Services project

Shining Mountains Living Community Services is determined not to give up on its south-end affordable housing project despite getting turned down for federal funding.

Last week the agency found out its proposal through the Urban Programming for Indigenous People program was denied. The funding was to purchase the Holiday Inn Express at 2803-50th Ave. and turn it into a 50-unit affordable housing complex.

Raye St. Denys, executive director with Shining Mountains, said she was really disappointed.

“We don’t know why. Red Deer desperately needs it,” said Denys who has not been able to find out why the funding was denied to improve the proposal, or if there is an appeal process.

She said the agency had received positive feedback on the proposal from organizations like the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“We’ve invested a fair amount of money in getting the architect’s drawing and getting the planning and proposal done.”

Related:

Red Deer city council approves hotel rezoning, clearing way for housing proposal

She said there is a waiting list of people in need of housing. The agency’s two four-plex buildings in Glendale and 12-unit apartment block in Riverside Meadows are full.

The 50th Avenue location was close to shops, banks, the local legion and transportation making it great for seniors. It was also close to employers and Red Deer Polytechnic for those looking for work or accessing educational opportunities, Denys said.

“It was basically ideal.”

Related:

Aboriginal house gaps studied in Red Deer

A nearby property developer had voiced concerns about the project last year, but Red Deer city council approved rezoning to allow the hotel to become a housing complex for Indigenous people.

Funding that Shining Mountains applied for is eligible to urban Indigenous service delivery organizations that have received Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples funding dating back to 2017.

The call for major infrastructure proposals was open between December 3, 2021 and January 31, 2022 and the federal government has been preparing to notify applicants.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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