New Affordable Housing in Whitecourt

The Whitecourt Star

Peter Shokeir

The provincial government announced funding for a housing project that will provide affordable housing for families living in Whitecourt at the Spruce View Lodge on Aug. 22.

The announcement was made by Oneil Carlier, minister of agriculture and forestry and Whitecourt-Ste. Anne MLA, on behalf of Lori Sigurdson, minister of seniors and housing.

Also present was Maryanne Chichak, mayor of Whitecourt, Jim Rennie, mayor of Woodlands County and Annabelle Kootenay, an Alexis First Nation elder.

An investment of $3.8-million was given for the project and will provide 42 new homes to build in the area.

“Our government believes that every Albertan should have a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Carlier. “Having a safe and affordable home is the foundation for a better life.”

The facility is still in the early stages of planning but will feature barrier-free living options and “be constructed to a net-zero level of efficiency to help reduce utility costs.” It is expected to include studio, one and two bedroom apartments.

According to the press release, “this investment is part of the government’s $1.2-billion commitment toward affordable and senior housing.”

Rennie explained the importance of the project and how it will not only support women in need but families and children who require a safe place to call home.

“They need to be looked after and protected as a community. We need to make sure we work together as a team to protect all of the people in our community that need that help,” said Rennie.

The building will be operated by the Wellspring Family Resource and Crisis Centre in collaboration with the Lac Ste. Anne Foundation.

“The one saying we’ve always heard, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ well it takes partnerships to build a community and that’s exactly what we have here,” said Chichak.

Becky Wells, the executive director of Wellspring Family Resource and Crisis Centre, showed her appreciation for the support that will be provided to the community.

“Our organizations are proud of the province’s support of our collaborative vision,” she said. “Together we are working to create stronger, healthier communities by providing a unique approach to the services and supports we provide individuals and families. We hope this will become a model for other rural communities in Alberta.”

The next phase of the project will include a design for the proposed facility and consulting construction services.