Seniors housing options expand across region

Seniors housing in Lacombe will see an $8.4-million expansion with funding recently announced by the Alberta government.

Seniors housing in Lacombe will see an $8.4-million expansion with funding recently announced by the Alberta government.

The Royal Oak Village 88-unit, condominium-style facility is part of 1,017 new or renovated continuing care beds that will be created in 11 communities.

Last week, Alberta Infrastructure announced it’s putting $105 million towards the projects to be completed or well underway within the next two years.

A new designated assisted facility with 100 beds will be built in Red Deer and operated by non-profit Covenant Health for people with higher health needs, but do not yet need to go into long-term care.

In Stettler, a continuing care partnership will create 88 continuing care beds.

Construction of the Lacombe project, which will cost a total of $16.8 million, is expected to begin in the fall and be complete by the fall of 2012.

Christenson Communities Ltd. owner Greg Christenson said it will provide a new breed of housing by moving away from “one size fits all.”

“Going to an institutional environment is not appealing to most people. This is really about creating a lifestyle choice,” the Edmonton developer said on Tuesday.

Phase two of Royal Oak Village will provide designated assisted living in studio, one and two bedroom suites available for rent or purchase through a life lease, which is similar to purchasing a condo with monthly operating costs.

At a cost of $300,000, the average unit would cost $2,300 to $2,600 per month to rent. Monthly operating costs for those with life leases would be about $600 to $650 per month.

Subsidized studio suites can be rented at $1,650 per month, which makes them an affordable option for seniors, he said.

Christenson built phase one of Royal Oak Village in 2002, at 4501 College Ave. near Canadian University College. It has 73 units, including 23 supportive living studio suites. Forty-three of the units are life-leased.

The Good Samaritan Society operates the facility.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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