$150G for Surerus Expansion

Mike Carter, Chetwynd Echo Reporter

CHETWYND – The Chetwynd Senior Citizens Housing Society has announced this week that it has received a $150,000 grant from the Peace River Regional District to go towards the construction of Phase 2 of the Surerus Place housing complex.

The project, to be located next to the existing Surerus Place facility, is expected to begin construction in the spring of 2014 and will consist of 12 single bedroom and six two-bedroom units.

Don Hicks, Vice President of the Chetwynd Senior Citizens Housing Society (CSCHS) said in an interview with Chetwynd Echo last November that at that time, the organization had hired a consultant to liaise between the Society and the province with regards to seniors housing needs in Chetwynd.

“What we wanted to do, we wanted to see how many apartments are required, if its 12 or 18 or 24, then what we want to do is we have to choose a site. We felt this site [next to the current complex] was better because we can share all the synergies between the two,” Hicks said.

The society recognizes a shortfall of affordable housing for low and mid income seniors in Chetwynd and Electoral Area “E” of the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) and proceeded with a Need and Demand study, Project Concept and Preliminary Financial Feasibility Report, as well as a seniors housing survey to quantify for the various government departments the need that exists.

The Need and Demand study demonstrated a significant number of seniors living in the Chetwynd, with an expected increase over the next five years.

“We would like to thank Jerry Schembri, for her effort and our fund raising committee of Carl Rose, Dale Phillips, Brenda Massey and Laverne Norris for their work and soon to be started fund raising campaign, “Hicks said this week.

Jerrilyn Schembri, PRRD Electoral Area “E” representative, said that she was very impressed with the work and the vision that the CSCHS had demonstrated since she first met with them over a year ago.

“The project concept and preliminary financial feasibility report showed clearly the need for more seniors housing units in the area,” Schembri wrote in an email.

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the twilight of life and the elderly, and I am pleased to say that the Peace River Regional District recognizes this and the need to provide affordable apartments to the seniors of Chetwynd. I am happy to have the opportunity to show my support of this project by providing this initial grant to the Chetwynd Seniors Housing Society for Surerus Place [Phase 2].”

The Chetwynd Senior Citizens Housing Society provides seniors in Chetwynd with affordable apartments at Little Prairie Haven, and assisted living and supportive housing units at Surerus Place. The society was founded in 1982.