• James Armstrong

Hudson lends support to Wyman United Church assisted living seniors’ project


Reverend Kent Chown, minister of Wyman Memorial United Church is very pleased with the Town of Hudson’s support for the proposed seniors assisted housing project.

The brainchild of Wyman Memorial United Church congregation, a low cost housing project that will provide assisted living for seniors, received official support from Hudson Town Council at the Monday, February 1 meeting. According to the church’s minister, Reverend Kent Chown, the project received very strong support from the congregation when it was put to a vote.

“This has been slowly hatching over the last couple of years,” said Chown during an interview on Tuesday afternoon with Your Local Journal. He said the size of the piece of land behind the church that is to be used for the project is not large enough to be of interest to most developers. The plan is for a non-profit organization comprised of members from the church and community to purchase the piece of land from the church and take charge of developing the project.

“It was through Ken Lefrancois, who was known because of the Rotary Club and many other projects, who joined our committee because of his commitment to the community, that we were directed to Groupe de Ressources Techniques Sud-Ouest (GRT) from Valleyfield,” said Chown. “Their mandate is low cost housing for various groups, not only seniors,” he said, adding the organization has various projects in the area including Pincourt, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Les Coteaux.

The proposed three-storey building will contain 24 to 32 units constructed on a concrete slab. “There won’t be a basement so there won’t be any blasting during construction,” said Chown.

Funding for the project will come from several sources. “GRT works with the provincial program, AccèsLogis, for grants from the provincial and regional governments,” Chown explained. According to the information presented to the town by the church, 50 per cent of most expenses would come from the Societé d’habitation de Québec, 15 per cent from the town, and two per cent from Novoclimat, and the balance from a guaranteed mortgage.

“There are two phases, the construction phase and the operational phase,” said the minister. He said the town acts as a pipeline for the provincial and regional funding and although the town will be paying a percentage of 15 per cent on the construction phase and 10 per cent on the operational phase, “…it does not come directly from the pockets of local tax payers but from the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM).

As this is subsidized housing, subsidies will continue to flow from AccèsLogis through the Town of Hudson to the non-profit organization. The total cost of the project including the land is expected to be between $3.4 and $4.5 million. Currently, the project plans to have studios and one-bedroom units with three meals per day, assistance with medication and housekeeping services. Rents are projected to range from $556 to $802 before services. The project will be managed by the non-profit with bilingual paid staff.

When asked when the first shovel will go into the ground, Chown smiled and said, “Possibly 2017 but more likely 2018 before it will begin.” He said the non-profit organization has to apply for the grants and wait for the approval and having the support of the town gives weight to those applications. “As a congregation, we see it as a way of reaching out to the community and providing a resource for an aging population,” he added.

According to the plan, the non-profit will work with GRT who will advise every step of the way. There will be continuing discussion with the town, including a zoning change as well as ongoing communication with neighboring property owners and the community. “There won’t be access for through traffic from Park Street to Main Road although the entry will be there for public security reasons,” said Chown as he gave a brief tour of the site. The plan is to block the entrance on the Park Street side with bollards that fire trucks can easily handle.

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