If all goes as hoped, the former site of East View Lodge may soon become the new site for a seniors housing unit.
NADCO is currently pursuing a grant, and design proposal, process to build a 50-unit seniors housing unit at the site of the former personal care home.
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the group held a community consultation meeting with about 25 people in attendance including representatives from local municipalities, churches, and seniors housing units. The consultation was run by ft3 Architects, who were chosen by NADCO as the project's architect.
Those in attendance gave input as to what they'd like to see the new development on the EVL site look like. They also spoke about potential needs for seniors housing in the area, as well as issues that were at the old EVL building that shouldn't be replicated.
“The goal was to get some sense of vision for what will go on that East View Lodge site,” NADCO chair Wayne Hildebrand explained. “We received some concepts and thoughts from people in the greater community.
“A couple of things that came up were the ideas of a mix of suites for seniors including some opportunities for assisted living,” Hildebrand noted. “People could be planning to live here from the age of 65 until 95, the needs would become much different over that period, we'd have to consider that.”
He also noted there was an indication that parking should be moved to the top of the hill to avoid past issues, and that seniors would like to have the hill be reinvigorated as a community tobogganing spot.
“That's a way to connect it to the community,” Hildebrand noted.
“Those are the kinds of things we're looking at for this building.”
The consultation meeting – which was invite-only – was “only the beginning of the discussion”. NADCO would now like to hear from the greater community about what the needs are.
In January, the group expects to have a survey available for people in Neepawa and the surrounding municipalities to give input as to what housing is needed in this area. It will also hold an open, public meeting.
There will be questionaires handed out, and Hildebrand is hoping early publicity of the project will lead to people interested in moving into seniors housing – whether it be now, or in the future – to call members of NADCO to show their interest and needs, such as are one or two-bedroom homes in more demand in this area.
“The priority is to build this to our needs,” he said.
Some models already discussed include life leases and combinations of independent/assisted living. There will also be “affordable units”, as determined by Manitoba Housing, available.
Early estimates have the project costing about $10.2 million, with the goal of receiving about $3 million of provincial funding through Manitoba Housing and at least $1 million through local contributions.
A local service club has expressed interest in working with NADCO on the project to raise the local contribution.
Manitoba Housing has expressed interest in supporting a seniors housing project in Neepawa. The project is currently dependent on $3 million in funding contributions from Manitoba Housing that would be okayed by the Province in the new year.