LETTER – Seniors’ housing is off the table

To the editor:

The Capital Investment Co-op of Smoky River, as you may recall, came to be in December 2012. It was one of three pilot projects chosen by the Alberta Community & Cooperative Association under a program called ‘Unleashing Local Capital’.

It was intended as an opportunity for people of the Smoky River region to put their investment dollars to work in their own communities. Projects could include housing, retail business, industry development or even business retention and succession planning. The idea was to have these projects funded by Member Investment Shares or Member Loans.

The first project (55-plus housing in the Town of Falher) was chosen based on a perceptible need for senior housing in the Smoky River region. As a cooperative, we need to ensure our projects can generate enough capital to meet operational costs of the Co-op as well as provide a reasonable return for our investors. Unfortunately, the many attempts to develop a business plan that would do so have been unsuccessful. After three trying years of studies, meetings, communications with builders and land negotiations we have come to the conclusion that this type of project certainly has potential for private developers, however, is not feasible for the Co-op.

We regretfully advise all who were interested in the senior housing development that we will no longer be pursuing this venture. If you are interested in investing in a housing project or in moving into a rental property, you may contact Diane Chiasson at the Smoky River Regional Economic Development at (780) 837-2364.
Lorraine Desaulniers,
Capital Investment Co-op of Smoky River

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