A senior official with Ontario’s housing ministry offered hope for local groups working on seniors housing projects.
Rob Flack, associate minister of housing, was in the Prescott-Russell region last Friday for the official openings of two new seniors housing projects in the villages of St-Albert and Vankleek Hill. Both projects received funding support from the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF). During a later interview with local media, Flack affirmed that other groups in charge of seniors housing projects might be able to get similar financial support.
“I’d think that they’d have a pretty good chance,” Flack said, in response to queries whether seniors housing projects in Clarence Creek and Maxville could get help from the SSRF.
The community groups responsible for Centre d’accueil Roger Séguin (CARS) and Maxville Manor are both working on plans for improving their respective seniors residence facilities. The CARS group’s goal is for construction of a larger residence that meets all of the current government building code standards for long-term care and seniors retirement buildings.
The CARS group has a site in mind for the new facility and has been working for several years on a financial plan for the project that would involve a combination of support funding from local and senior governments and other sources as well as a long-term loan.
During the media session with Flack, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Stéphane Sarrazin noted that the long-term care ministry is reviewing all requests for funding assistance from seniors housing groups like CARS.
“The ministry is looking at what we can do with these projects,” he said.
Flack noted that affordable housing has become a growing problem for seniors, students in post-secondary studies, and newly-arrived immigrants in Ontario.
“The province’s population has more than doubled,” he said, adding that the current housing crisis has affected both urban and rural areas of Ontario.