New seniors' housing promised for Summerside

The P.E.I. government will build a new 30-unit seniors' housing development in Summerside, Family Services Minister Tina Mundy said Tuesday.

The units will be owned by the province under the P.E.I. Housing Corporation. Rent would be set at 25 per cent of a person's income, Mundy said. 

"We are at the design stage right now so we will be very shortly putting out to public tender someone to come in and do the build for us," Mundy said. The province is coming up with its own design and will seek bids from construction companies to build it. 

Demolition is now underway at the former Summerset Manor in Summerside — but Mundy said the new units will likely not be built on that site because the province does not want to delay construction waiting for the month-long demolition.

'Get shovels in the ground'

Earlier this year, the province asked developers for proposals to turn the old manor property into seniors' housing units. Mundy said none of the proposals met the province's criteria of demolishing the manor and building new housing. 

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"We want to get on the ground and get shovels in the ground on this new build so we don't want the Summerset Manor to be holding up any new build," she explained. 

"We weren't necessarily looking to repurpose the building — we had engineers go through the building several times and it was deemed it was unsalvageable," Mundy said. "It wasn't fit for use, especially for seniors' units." 

The province currently has 200 people on a waiting list in the area who need "core housing," Mundy said, which means they may be spending more than 25 per cent of their income on housing or have needs that are not being met including space or mobility issues. The province prioritizes people on that list by urgency of their need, she added.

Mundy said the new housing units should be ready for the spring of 2019. 

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