Vacant lot being filled with affordable housing

Tyler Clarke
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Delegates gather around a mound of soil at 1249 15th Street West, where they broke the ground on a new Prince Albert Community Housing Society affordable housing four-plex project. 

By the time it opens in September, a four-plex under construction at 1249 15th St. W. will provide four families with a leg up.

“Four families will have the opportunity to improve their quality of life by living in a safe, quality home that is affordable,” Prince Albert Northcote MLA Victoria Jurgens said during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday.

The provincial government provided $340,000 of the project’s $660,000 total cost through the Summit Action Fund, which since 2011 has provided funding for affordable housing projects.

The Prince Albert Community Housing Society is in charge of the project and will cover the balance of its cost, which manager Linda Boyer said would not have been possible without the provincial government’s contribution.

“With these four units, since 2007 we have now built … or are in the process of building 266 units in Prince Albert alone, for just under $25.9 million,” Jurgens said.

“This helps people to have safe, affordable housing, so that they can raise their families, and families are the start of a healthy community.”

“There isn’t a lot out there for young families starting out with one child, so we looked at that group of renters,” said, noting that they’re aiming at keeping the monthly cost per unit at $700.

In addition to its role in improving the lives of four families, Coun. Tim Scharkowski noted that he’s happy to see an empty lot filled.

Four families will have the opportunity to improve their quality of life by living in a safe, quality home that is affordable. Victoria Jurgens

“Initiatives like this are much welcomed projects … as they will contribute to our neighbourhoods and help revitalize them with the infilling of our lots,” he said.

During her presentation, Jurgens noted the ease at which additional empty lots can be filled with affordable housing, in Prince Albert.

“The design type can be easily replicated on other infill sites using existing infrastructure,” she said.

“This approach provides the opportunity for more homes to be built in a shorter period of time and a greater number of families will have access to affordable housing right here in Prince Albert.”

The four-plex and a 10-unit complex on Seventh Street East, which will begin accepting tenants this week, will bring the Prince Albert Community Housing Society’s total number of affordable units to 380, Boyer said.

“Affordable” means anything under market value, which in Prince Albert’s case hovers around the $800-per-month mark for single-bedroom units.

Organizations: Prince Albert Community Housing Society, Summit Action Fund

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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