For the first time in Prince Albert, a new housing facility set to break ground in the next couple weeks will be catered to those with acquired brain injuries.
“When you have an acquired brain injury, in most cases you’re not able to work, or if you are able to work you work at low-income jobs,” Prince Albert Community Housing Society manager Linda Boyer said, noting that the building’s units will be affordable.
The 10-unit walk-up apartment, first announced in May, was given the go-ahead by city council this week, paving the way for its projected Jan. 1 grand opening.
The apartment building will be built at 465 Seventh St. E.
The Prince Albert Housing Society partnered with the Saskatchewan North Acquired Brain Injury outreach team, who will work with tenants through various programming.
Both floors of the building will include common areas for programming and meetings to take place, Boyer said.
"Brain injury is such a wide spectrum," Acquired Brain Injury outreach team leader Jolene Hunter explained when the project was first announced.
"The people are able to live independently, they just need a case manager to help them out."
Residents are able to live independently, but benefit from some added support.
The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and add to the society’s fleet of affordable housing units, which currently number 367.
Although Boyer noted a wait list of 166 people in May, that number’s grown to about 176.
“There’s a lack of affordable housing in Prince Albert, and I think more and more people are coming in for school and work, because there are more jobs here,” she said.
There are a handful of additional projects in the work, she said, including a triplex for the homeless in the 600 block of Sixth Avenue East.
“It’s for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, for whatever reason,” Boyer said. “It could be mental disability; it could be there’s no affordable housing for them … There are many factors for homelessness.”
The units will be transitional housing, with residents assisted until such time as they’re able to move on to other rental situations.