Lions Manor 55 vice-chair Penny Byer says construction on this 30-unit, 33,000-square-foot facility has been progressing steadily in the intervening 13 months, with local contractors having completed the roof back in the spring.
“At the last report, the drywall on the second floor was near completion, windows were installed and being covered up for short-term protection,” she said.
However, Lions Manor 55 still has to contend with a number of hurdles before construction on the living centre is completed in the spring of 2019.
One of their more immediate challenges is attracting local residents to actually buy/rent these units.
“We really need, now, to push a little harder to get people to make that commitment,” said Byer. “If people want to decide whether they want the north side, south side, corner suite or whatever the case may be … if any of these things are important to them, then they really should be at least making their initial deposit now.”
Byer says that one of their biggest goals for the rest of the year is to rent out 20−25 units by Christmas, though she was unable to provide information regarding how many are spoken for now.
Lions Manor 55 has also been hit by some significant financial speed bumps in the last couple months.
In April, a pair of key investors dropped out of funding the senior living complex, which left them having to fill a $750,000 gap.
“We’ve applied for another couple of grants and we’ve got a couple of corporate people who are stepping up to the plate,” she said. “We also have a potential new board member with experience in fundraising who is, in all likelihood, going to be joining our board.”
Lions Manor 55 is also running a promotion with Shoppers Drug Mart for the remainder of August, where customers get a chance to write their name on a paper house and put it on the store’s wall after making a donation to the housing co-operative.
“I think it’s wonderful that they are doing this,” said Byer. ”So the little card houses are at Shoppers now, as well as informational leaflets on the housing.”
Looking forward, Byer told the Thompson Citizen that she is excited to see this affordable housing complex finally come together, and hopes that they will be able to set up a couple display units in the fall.
“I personally can hardly wait until we get to the point where we say,‘Oh my goodness, we’d better do some landscaping now,’” she said. “Once it’s up and ready and people are able to move in, that’ll be awesome.”
The next annual general meeting for Lions Manor 55 is scheduled to take place Sept. 4 at the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre.
For more information on the housing co-operative in general, including how to make a donation, please call 204-307-8334 or send an email to Lionsmanor55@gmail.com.