Westwinds, Squamish’s newly-built seniors' housing complex is open, with tenants moving in today (April 8).
On April 6, officials officially announced the grand opening of the Westwinds building, which includes 232 rental homes for low-income seniors living in Squamish
The current residents at the seniors’ 50-unit The Manor and 20-unit The Cedars will transfer to the new building. That property, also on Third Avenue, up the street from Westwinds, was sold to Polygon Homes to fund the new development.
According to Laura Modray, executive director of Squamish Senior Living Society, which will operate the building — with the exception of two former tenants who made other arrangements — all the other former residents are making the move to the new units.
Depending on tenant income, monthly rents at Westwinds will range between $767 and $990.
“Squamish Senior Living Society is pleased to announce the opening of Westwinds. This project has been a unique collaboration between three levels of government, the private sector and society. We are very grateful to our development partner, Polygon Homes, which has managed to deliver a beautiful and well-constructed building that has surpassed all of our expectations. The society looks forward to meeting the housing needs of seniors in Squamish and the surrounding area for many years to come,” said Modray, in a news release.
The new building is located at 38275 Third Ave and also includes a fitness area, multi-purpose common areas and is the new home of the Squamish Men's Shed.
The District will start its programming out of the amenity rooms in the fall.
The need for the building is clear. Before folks even moved in, Westwinds had a waitlist of 50 who wanted in.
“The big difference now is that with 232 units people won't be waiting as long,” said Modray. “At the old property, some people waited well over five years until a unit came available. At Westwinds, that wait will be significantly less due to the sheer volume of units.”
The old buildings will be demolished sometime in May, according to Modray.
The feds chipped in $40.55 million in funding for this project, which was created through a partnership between the Government of Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the province, through BC Housing, the District of Squamish, Squamish Senior Living Society and Polygon Homes.
BC Housing, provided approximately $9.5 million; the Squamish Senior Living Society provided $7.3 million in funding, including $6.3 million in proceeds from the sale of neighbouring land to Polygon.
The District of Squamish provided approximately $6 million through development and community amenity contribution waivers.
The announcement was made in a joint press release by federal Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen, Sea to Sky MP Patrick Weiler, provincial attorney general and housing minister David Eby, seniors’ parliamentary secretary Mable Elmore and Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott.
“Westwind[s] will ensure a growing demographic of Squamish residents have access to safe and affordable accommodation in their fast-growing community. Important programming and services will be available within the building to support a high quality of life for all residents,” said Weiler, in a news release. “This project shows what can be accomplished when all orders of government, non-profits, and the private sector are committed to work together to deliver affordable housing in our region.”
According to Modray, a grand opening is being planned for sometime this summer. Date to be determined.
Find out more on the Squamish Senior Living Society Facebook page.