Glen Arbor residents (from left) Irene Jasper

Glen Arbor residents (from left) Irene Jasper

Glen Arbor expansion in the works

Glen Arbor apartments is forging ahead with phase 2 of its affordable housing project for seniors.

Just eight years after building the first phase of Glen Arbor apartments for low income seniors the Glen Arbor Cariboo Park Home Society is forging ahead with planning on phase 2 of the affordable housing project for seniors.

Anyone interested in helping with this next phase of construction to attend the society’s annual meeting coming up on Oct. 29 starting at 1 p.m. at Glen Arbor located at 564 Oliver Street, society chair Maureen Tickner says.

Tickner says the needs and demands study on social housing for Williams Lake and region was completed at the end of August and supports phase 2 giving the green light to begin developing the business plans and design for the new building.

Tickner estimates the business plan will take about 10 months to complete at which time fundraising can begin.

Glen Arbor’s existing facility includes 34 one-bedroom independent living apartments for seniors on three levels, plus underground parking.  The main floor includes some apartments, recreation space, common kitchen and dining areas, and the home support and site manager’s offices. Tracy Rouse is the site manager.

Rouse says the society’s original plan was to build 55 apartments for low-income seniors. Since the original plan was developed eight years ago the city bylaw has been changed to allow a four story apartment block on the site which means they will be able to provide more than the 21 apartments originally planned for the second phase of the project.

The exact number of new apartments to be built will be determined in developing the business plan which will include a site drawings, cost estimate and budget, and fund raising plan. She says the society will be looking at various funding models for the development including an all publicly funded option and/or private/public partnerships.

“We are seeing more and more seniors now who are in dire straights and becoming homeless,” Tickner says.

Many seniors receive only the old age security and guaranteed income supplement which totals about $1,000 a month.

She says tenants at Glen Arbor pay 30 per cent of their income before taxes for rent, which leaves them more money for food, medications and other expenses.

There are a number of businesses and volunteers who also provide services for seniors living at Glen Arbor such as foot care, delivering groceries and meat, Meals on Wheels, and exercise programs.

She also recommends that new buildings of several stories that go up today should all be equipped with elevators and wide hallways allowing accessibility not only for seniors but  people using wheelchairs, mothers with babies and young children.

“Let’s build it right for the future,” Tickner says.

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