Archive | July, 2011

Media Release: LIGHTHOUSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT UNDERWAY IN SASKATOON

From the Government of Saskatchewan

The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. (The Lighthouse) tower project is now under construction at 227 -20th Street East in Saskatoon. The Government of Saskatchewan, through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC), is contributing approximately $13 million in funding to the overall total cost of $15.3 million.

The remaining funding of $1.5 million is being provided by The Lighthouse and $925,000 from the City of Saskatoon.

“The province remains strongly committed to providing families and individuals with safe, adequate and affordable housing based on their needs,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude said. “These new units will provide independent living opportunities and access to needed supports for clients transitioning from supported living units. We are proud to have contributed to this project and, most importantly, to helping Saskatchewan individuals in need of this type of housing.”

“The Lighthouse is thankful for the continued support of our shared vision of affordable housing for all,” The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. Executive Director Don Windels  said. “Today celebrates a much needed expansion of safe and affordable housing and supportive programming for those in need in our community.”

“The City of Saskatoon is proud to be a part of the Lighthouse project by providing a capital grant and tax abatement,” Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison said. “This crucial expansion will provide a full spectrum of housing needs and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community have a roof over their heads and regular meals. Congratulations to Don Windels and the Lighthouse Supported Living organization for their determination, patience and foresight to see this project through to completion.”

The project will provide 58 new fully independent, studio transitional units (11 double and 47 single units) in addition to the existing 64 supported living units. This will provide approximately 130 units of available housing for The Lighthouse. Many of the units will be independent, and will add to the housing options offered by The Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse currently offers both shelter space and supported living units for vulnerable low-income individuals, with meal service available on site. The new units will offer clients the opportunity to live independently, yet still access The Lighthouse supports.

The project is estimated to be completed in spring 2012.

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For more information, contact:

Linda Saliken
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0246

Lighthouse Breaks Ground On New Project

Local Supported Living Organization Looks To Add 58 New Units Downtown by Lévi Soulodre

Saskatoon, SK — Saskatoon’s The Lighthouse Supported Living organization has broken ground on its latest project, which will offer more lower-income individuals in Saskatoon a place to live.
The project will see the construction of 58 one- and two-bedroom units for the non-profit organization’s suites at 20th Avenue East.

The Lighthouse, which provides both transitional and long-term housing for lower-income individuals in Saskatoon, is building adjacent to its other property, which was formerly the Capri hotel.  The eight-storey structure is scheduled to be completed by spring of next year.

“We expect residents can occupy [the building] soon after completion,” says Tim Gross, executive director of housing development with the Ministry of Social Services.  Currently, The Lighthouse suites include 64 supported living units and 28 emergency shelter beds, with meals and wellness programs available on-site.

“The primary goal is to work with those people that are able to move on to independent living; it’s the ultimate goal of the people at the Lighthouse,” Gross explains.
“In the new building, we’re anticipating a longer stay for residents,” he continues.

The Lighthouse’s Jason Moore explains that many of the inhabitants struggle with a number of personal challenges.

“Any of the people who come to The Lighthouse who may have addiction issues [or] lack life skills, we work with those people by providing programming … to help our clients obtain and retain housing,” he adds, noting that a staggering 80 to 85 percent of residents are combatting some form of mental illness or addiction.

Moore explains that, along with offering residents a place to stay, The Lighthouse provides programming, such as work training, and life skills, such as budgeting, for its inhabitants.

“Our goal is to increase the [amount] of low-income housing available in Saskatoon,” he continues.

“As Saskatoon’s economy is growing and developing, we’re also noticing a trend in less lower or affordable housing in our community.”

“So much so that the city, the community, and … the provincial government decided we needed to do something about it.”

The Lighthouse housing project is expected to cost approximately $15.3 million; the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation is contributing about $13 million, with The Lighthouse providing $1.5 million and the City of Saskatoon $925,000.

Christina Beck, a current resident and volunteer at The Lighthouse, says the new units are a welcome addition.

“[There are] a lot of people out there that are unfortunate,” Beck says.

“There’s always people coming in, looking for places to stay and filling in applications. I know the waiting list is really big right now, so it’s great they’re going ahead with construction to make more spaces for new people.”

The 58 new units will be added to the existing 64 apartments, bumping the total number of available living quarters to 130.