FORTEAU, N.L. — Two Labrador communities will benefit from provincial-federal funding announced last week for new affordable housing units.
JMAK Construction of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and C&T Enterprises of Forteau were two of the successful companies that submitted tenders. Each received $440,000 to build eight units.
Kim Cabot, a director with JMAK, said the units are very much needed for seniors. JMAK currently operates 40 apartments in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
“All of our apartments are always full and we always have people waiting,” she said.
“I gave up keeping a waiting list because it became so long it wasn’t fair to the people on it because you’d have one apartment available and then you might have 20 people on the list.”
Cabot said there is also a need in North West River.
“We did preliminaries down there,” she said. “We approached (the town) to see if there was a need in actual North West River; we knew there was a need (in Happy Valley- Goose bay). They did surveys and we had cooperation with the town and so, through all that we think we’ll have no problem filling eight units.”
Although the buildings will be located in North West River, seniors throughout the Lake Melville area, aged 55 and up with an annual income of less than $40,000, will be eligible to apply.
Cabot expects they will be ready for occupancy in approximately six months.
A press release from the province said the funding is an extension of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-19.
“This significant investment shows our government’s continued commitment to expanding affordable and accessible housing options and to working with our non-profit and private-sector partners throughout the province to help achieve that goal,” said Lisa Dempster, minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), in the release. “These new projects will provide persons with disabilities, families, single individuals and independent seniors greater opportunity to find the right housing for their needs.”
In total, with this funding announcement, NLHC announced 10 private companies and three non-profit organizations awarded $6 million to create 93 new spaces.
In addition to North West River and Forteau the money will also provide housing in Victoria, Conception Bay South, Bonavista, Fogo Island, Port Blandford, Grand Falls-Windsor, Summerford, Burin, Mount Pearl, Gander and Port aux Basques.
Approval of the 13 projects is currently conditional.