The town of Mattawa is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the Rosemount Valley Suites on May 13th. Mayor Dean Backer will be there, as will members of town council and the affordable seniors’ housing committee.
All are invited to attend the opening ceremony. Find your way to 231 Tenth Street for 11:00 a.m. to ensure a nice view. After the ribbon falls, a grand tour of the building is planned.
There are 30 apartments in the building, and they are all spoken for, explained Mattawa’s chief administrative officer, Francine Desormeau. Interest was high and the apartments didn’t last long once they became available.
The units are for people 55 and over, and are designed to be affordable places, which means the municipality made “sure that the rents were 20 per cent below the market rates,” Desormeau said. The apartments are a mix of studios and one to two bedrooms, with rents ranging between $500 to the mid-$800’s, plus utilities.
Desormeau is proud that the project is “100 per cent municipal,” and understands the need for an affordable building for seniors. Rosemount Valley Suites is an “amazing project for Mattawa and the district,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of housing, and we don’t have a lot of affordable housing.”
There is a waiting list to get in, and since most people haven’t even moved in yet, that wait might be long. However, those interested should still join the list because “if the waiting list grows enough, we will be presenting council with a phase two of the project,” Desormeau said.
The building used to be a long-term care home, operated by the Algonquin Nursing Home. The town bought it from the hospital for $250,000, “payable in 25 annual installments of $10,000.” Mattawa also took out a mortgage from Caisse Alliance for “$5.5 million to refurbish,” the space, and had the work done by Descon Construction.
Caisse Alliance also “donated $75,000 to the project” Desormeau added, funds that helped to complete the outdoor pavilion and to furnish the common rooms in the building, including “leather furniture, a big screen TV, and extra furniture for events.”
“It’s going to be amazing for the residents who move in there.”
For those who want a sneak-peak of the grand opening, Desormeau has posted a short walk-through video on the Experience Mattawa YouTube page.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.