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Feds chip in $40.5 million for Westwinds seniors housing project in Squamish

The 232-unit affordable housing project is expected to open sometime in 2022.

The federal government announced it's kicking in about $40.55 million toward the Polygon affordable seniors housing project known as the Westwinds on March 2.

The 232-unit building is expected to open sometime in 2022, and is also receiving $9.5 million from the province and $4.1 million from the District of Squamish.

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP Patrick Weiler hosted the news conference where Ahmed Hussen, federal minister in charge of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, made the announcement.

"These units will be central, affordable, accessible and energy-efficient," said Hussen.  

"Every Canadian senior in Squamish deserves the dignity of a home, which also serves as a refuge in these difficult times."

Mayor Karen Elliott; Peter Gordon and Laura Modray of the Squamish Senior Citizens Home Society and Neil Chrystal of Polygon were also present. 

This seniors project has been in the works since it was first approved in 2018.

In order to make the project happen, the Squamish Senior Citizens Home Society sold off part of its land — originally designated for seniors housing — to Polygon in order to fund the project.  

The current residents in The Manor and The Cedars will be moved into the newly completed Westwinds complex when construction on that building is done. After the move, the aging buildings would be demolished to allow Polygon to build a six-storey downtown market-price development on the property.

The $40.55-million announcement has been part of a flurry of federal funding announcements that could affect the Sea to Sky.  

On March 1, Weiler announced the federal government would throw in $1.9 million toward new or improved bus shelters in B.C.

 Later on Tuesday, the same day as the seniors' announcement, Weiler is expected to make a funding announcement regarding legions.  

There has been speculation that a federal election is a looming possibility in the near future, but Hussen said the funding announcements were not related.

 "What you're really seeing is the fruits of a lot of work over the last number of years," said Hussen.  

"This is not about electioneering. This is not about politics. This is really about delivering for British Columbia."