Lions Manor 55, the seniors’ housing co-op under construction on Station Road, needs deposits on eight more suites before its mortgage will be released by the credit union, board member Penny Byer told the Thompson Chamber of Commerce May 15.
“Under the agreement we have with ACU [Assiniboine Credit Union], we have to get to deposits on 26 units in order for them to release the mortgage and we’re eight shy of that,” said Byer. “We have to have those sales in order to avoid a long delay in construction. To continue in a timely manner we have to get those eight units sold fast. We’re really trying to get this done before June if we can because people get way too busy in June.
There are 30 suites in the co-op and deposits have been put down on nine more since the display suite opened in December. Only one one-bedroom unit remains unspoken for and the remaining 11 are two-bedroom suites. Interested would-be occupants can reserve a suite by putting down $500. Under the co-operative housing model, residents have to purchase shares in the co-op – 60 shares at $1,000 each for a one-bedroom suite or 70 shares at $1,000 each for a two-bedroom.
In addition to the shares, people who join the co-op have to pay monthly fees of $763 for a one-bedroom unit and $939 for a two-bedroom unit, which covers costs such as heat and hydro, water, property taxes, insurance, snow removal, garbage removal and guiding and property maintenance.
“That share is like an equity for you,” Byer explained. “It won’t collect interest but you won’t lose interest. It’s guaranteed through the co-op act, through our bylaws. [If you move out] You are not responsible for finding a buyer for that. The co-op buys the shares back from you. The money always comes back to you. It’s guaranteed that what you put in is what you get out of there.”
Six of the suites are specially designed for people in wheelchairs and all are designed to suit the needs of tenants, who must be 55 or older, with lower light switches, higher electrical sockets, and low- or zero-entry tubs. Each unit has individual heat and air conditioning controls and its own washer and dryer. There is also a guest suite that tenants can rent out for visiting family members if they don’t have enough room to accommodate them. The complex will also include an indoor common room with a fireplace and an outdoor common area, plans for which include eventual construction of a gazebo.
As shareholders in the co-op, tenants will also have a say in how the complex is run, just like condo owners.
“Once we get up to the point of occupancy, then the people who are going to live there form their own board and they pretty much take care of the operations of anything,” said Byer.
Provided deposits are put down on enough units to access the mortgage, suites could be ready for occupancy as early as this fall.