Seniors foundation wants to understand needs in region –

Susan Flowers, chair of the Rocky View Foundation, says they aim to address several senior housing issues across the region over the next four years.

The foundation provides subsidized accommodations for seniors across the region, including a total of about 100 between the Big Hill Lodge and Evergreen Manor here in Cochrane. She says there are typically waiting lists, and the demand continues to climb.

Both a capital development and strategic plan are being developed with Bespoke Non Profit Solutions and are expected to be completed by June. They were made possible with a grant from the Calgary Foundation.

Flowers says an invitation will likely be going out in March for public input. The questions are currently being developed.

“I think we kind of know the road we’re going down, but we need to get people involved. We have to find out what the people really want, what the needs are, make sure we build appropriately and find some community partners that want to work with us to make it happen.”

She says Alberta Seniors and Housing wants to see Private-Public Partnerships (P3) used in the future. That means finding partners to make capital investments.

“They want to see collaboration from all levels of government and the community, so it’s really important for the Town of Cochrane to work together with the Rocky View Foundation to make this happen.”

Here in Cochrane, the goal is to build a new and larger Big Hill Lodge on the town’s 5th Ave. property. The existing one was built in the 1970s and is outdated. 

They are also examining the potential of developing independent living accommodations in Bragg Creek. 

Currently, the former Hampton Inn and Suites in Airdrie is being converted to senior housing and is expected to accommodate about 90 residents when completed this summer. The hotel had gone into receivership and was only five years old.

“It is exciting times, and in the next four years we’re hoping to get a lot done.”