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French River to develop affordable housing for seniors

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A new seniors’ housing development is being planned for the Municipality of French River, south of Sudbury.

Mayor Gisèle Pageau announced the plans to a packed room full of residents on Friday.

“They’re so happy because they love their community. They know their neighbours. They know the people, their families are all here,” Pageau said.

“The Municipality of French River -- it’s beautiful. Who would want to leave? And especially our seniors.”

Council’s decision to develop affordable and accessible housing tailored for older adults came after some seniors started to move away. They couldn’t take care of their homes but didn’t have housing options allowing them to stay.

“Plenty of people have had to leave,” said Linda Nadon, president of the French Rivers Seniors Club.

A new seniors’ housing development is being planned for the Municipality of French River, south of Sudbury. Mayor Gisèle Pageau announced the plans to a packed room full of residents on Friday. (Angela Gemmill/CTV News)

Nadon said they either move to retirement residents in Sturgeon Falls or Sudbury, or they move to be closer to their adult children somewhere else, “because they couldn’t stay in their hometown.”

The development will include 30 one- and two-bedroom units, to be built beside the municipal office in Noëlville.

A non-profit board will oversee the housing complex, which will be designed and built by Descon Construction.

“We try to make these projects so it’s their project,” said Keith Harriman with Descon Construction.

“We create a non-profit board with representation from the community on the board, and we provide them with bylaws and operating guidelines. It’s their project to run how they want to when it’s done.”

Following the announcement, more than 30 residents added their names to the signup sheets.

Even with only 30 units initially available, Pageau said there’s room to grow the development.

“So once we fill the 30 units and we still have people asking (when is) my turn, then we’ll get into the second phase of building another 30 units,” she said.

Construction is expected to begin this April on French River’s Affordable Seniors Housing Development, with occupancy likely in the spring of 2025.

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