Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 30, 2009
CSS provides Red Deer home for the disabled
Most residents are AISH recipients who have struggled to locate housing amidst escalating rents
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
RED DEER - A new $1.1-million Catholic Social Services residence here will provide eight affordable housing units for the diabled, most of whom are currently on AISH.
Elenor's Place, an affordable housing project with social support services, opened its doors to the community Nov. 20.
Seven adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities and one live-in staff have already moved into the complex at 3827 Ross St., close to downtown and to bus routes.
"(Residents) are individuals with either acquired brain injury or with a developmental disability or alcohol spectrum disorder," explained Karen Murphy, CEO of Catholic Social Services' West Central Alberta Region Services.
Some of them are coming out of residential programs in Red Deer or other areas of central Alberta.
"There are people that have been in some of our residential facilities but they have enough independence that they would like to live out on their own in the community but they haven't been able to afford to live on their own," Murphy said.
"In Red Deer the rents increased significantly through the boom times but they haven't necessarily lowered to a place where people can afford to live on their own if they are living on a secure income.
"Most of the people who are living in the complex are on AISH and so to be able to live on their own is sometimes next to impossible on that kind of an income. So this (project) will enable them to have a place to call their own."
Residents will pay $550 a month a that includes everything, except for their own phone, cable and food.
A one-bedroom apartment in Red Deer is probably $800 or $900 and month, plus utilities. Most Elenor's Place residents live off of just $1,100 a month.
"Each suite is approximately 500 square feet, has great sound proofing, has a combined kitchen and living room area, a large bathroom, a comfortable bedroom and a couple of closets," CSS spokesperson Mark Barylo said in an email.
"Very attractively completed. The overall cost was $1,030,000 with $715,000 from a grant to the City of Red Deer from Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs (which was then negotiated through to CSS), and $300,000 from Catholic Charities in Edmonton."
Ken Wessell, the project developer and contractor, donated the property on which the 4,500 square foot eightplex was built. It was named in honour of his mother-in-law, Elenor Swanson, who spent all of her life working with people with disabilities.
Several dignitaries from the Alberta government, the City of Red Deer and the Edmonton Archdiocese attended the opening.
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