Housing project for Guelph seniors receives $42 million in government funding

A major housing project for seniors in Guelph, Ont., is receiving almost $42 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments.

The funding announced on Thursday is for the Silver Maple Seniors Community development on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph’s north end.

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The federal government is chipping in a $38.9-million loan with $2.3 million of that considered forgivable if certain criteria are met. Another $2.9 million comes from joint federal-provincial funding.

“Today’s announcement is not only good news for our seniors to live independently and with dignity in their retirement, but it’s great news for the entire community of Guelph,” said Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of families, children and social development, who is also responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

St. Joseph’s is building a seven-storey apartment structure with 87 units and 28 townhomes.

Just over half of the units are considered affordable housing which means the household would only have to pay 30 per cent or less of the median household income.

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield said the neighbourhood will be an ideal place for seniors to live.

“Having the health-care facility here with all the protocols of protection to the management of the entire property is a massive benefit for the residents that will be calling this home,” he said.

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Construction started last fall and completion is scheduled for late 2022 or early 2023.

It’ll complement the services already provided on the campus such as in-patient and out-patient care, complex care, long-term care, and other specialized services for seniors.

The project also follows the Residences of St. Josephs, an 80-unit apartment building next to the health centre, built in 2011.

“The need for seniors affordable housing in our community is significant,” said Brendan Lane, chair of the board directors for the St. Joseph’s Housing Corp.

“The Silver Maple Seniors Community will provide affordable, accessible housing to seniors, including people living with disabilities, in an environment where seniors can feel safe, comfortable and independent.”

Seniors who are interested in either a townhome and apartment unit would have to meet certain criteria, such as annual income.

The project team is accepting names to be added to a waitlist.

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“I know that it will be more than a home,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

“The focus after it’s done is going to be a sense of community and there’s nothing more that we need right now, especially after this last year … building something that is going to create a community for those seniors.”

Guthrie added that the City of Guelph has already approved $1.1 million for the project.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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