UCP announce opening of senior housing announced by NDP

Late last month, the Alberta government announced the opening of a seniors housing facility in the town of Innisfail.

The replacement facility was actually announced and started under the NDP government, but you wouldn’t know that from last month’s announcement. Not only was there no mention of the previous government, there wasn’t even mention that the project started in 2018.

Although the original announcement by the NDP occurred in December 2018, construction of the new 90-unit one actually began two months before.

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Under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement, the provincial and federal government committed $24.2 million to the project. The province’s contribution was part of a $1.2-billion commitment to build affordable housing as part of the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy. The remainder was part of the federal National Housing Strategy, a 10-year plan to spend $40 billion (now over $70 billion) on 100,000 new housing units and repair or renew 200,000 others.

The new 3-storey facility consists of 60 lodge units and 30 self-contained apartments, and it employed 175 workers during the construction phase.

Now that the residents have moved in, demolition of the two old facilities—one the 62-unit Autumn Glen facility and the other the 16-unit Popular Grove Court facility—will begin.

Oddly, last month’s announcement included a statement that “Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now.” It’s odd because this project was funded by Alberta’s Recovery Plan, which was announced just last year, after 95% of the construction was already complete.

This wasn’t the only project like this either.

Just last week, the UCP announced the grand opening of a seniors housing facility in Sherwood Park. The 144-unit project was actually announced in 2017 by the NDP, who promised $32.4 million for construction. This project employed 240 workers during the 3-year construction phase and expanded the previous capacity of 79 units of the former 50-year-old facility.

And the week before, the government announced the opening of a $10.7-million affordable housing facility in Morinville, which the NDP had announced funding for in 2019.

That announcement also cited Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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