SAULT STE. MARIE -- As the doors open, residents are still slowly moving in to the new 17 unit affordable housing complex in the west end of Sault Ste. Marie.  

"This is the first building we have done since 1979, first new build within the city, so we’re really proud of it." said Mike Nadeau, CEO of the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Service Administration Board.

"This is also a seniors building with the hub and it’s also the other building over there, the other property is set up for adults with developmental needs."

Unlike previous affordable housing units, these two were designed, paid for and now owned by the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation.

The final costs for the buildings amounted to $4.5 million and because the Housing Corporation is involved long-term, staff say they were able to build it right.

“It was just it was designed to be very very energy efficient. It has efficient boilers, it has extra insulation. Because we wanted to retain public ownership of this asset, we built it for the long term, we built it to last and we built it to be affordable for generations to come,” said Luke Dufour, the board's chair.

Nadeau says 1500 people are currently on the wait list to rent geared income units or affordable housing and there are only 2500 social housing available units in the city.

The goal is to have another affordable housing unit built on the other side of the parking lot by the end of 2022.