Tenants with modest incomes start moving into West Park apartments

A 16-suite apartment project in West Park began accepting renters with modest incomes this month.

A 16-suite apartment project in West Park began accepting renters with modest incomes this month.

Renovations of West Park Apartments, located on the top two floors of Westpark Shopping Centre, serve people with middle to slightly lower income.

Work on the $1.3-million project began last October. The project received $384,000 in funding from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) to do significant renovations without increasing rents.

The project also received $90,000 from RRAP for renovations for people with disabilities.

Two of the one-bedroom suites are barrier-free for people with disabilities. An elevator was also added.

Mike Stevens, associate broker with Sunreal Property Management, which is managing the apartment building, said the housing is for people age 45 and up.

One-bedroom suites are renting for $595 a month, two-bedrooms are $695, and barrier-free suites are $645.

“We’re looking for long-term people in these properties and as they age, they won’t have to move because they are aging,” Stevens said.

Located on top of the shopping centre, tenants will have quick access to the food store, doctor’s office, pharmacist and more, he said.

Seven suites have been rented so far.

Kerry Wagar, corporate representative with CMHC, said RRAP has been around for years to ensure more people have rental opportunities.

One-bedroom tenants must have an annual income no higher than $29,500. For those in two-bedroom suites, their annual income ceiling is $35,500.

“These particular units are targeting people that may have had trouble previously finding safe and affordable housing in the community,” Wagar said.

CMHC funding requires the suites be rented at lower rates for 15 years.

“If we’re investing money in this to get the renovation complete, we want to make sure the benefits are available long term for people.”

The last big project in Red Deer to receive renovation funding from CMHC was the Buffalo Hotel, an old hotel downtown converted into affordable housing suites.