The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (RRDSSAB) welcomed the public to attend the grand opening of its newest housing build on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
The first affordable housing project in the district, an eight-unit bachelor apartment complex dubbed “River Ridge Apartments” is expected to see its first tenants get their keys in mid-June.
The new complex is located at 1300-2 Fifth St. East in Fort Frances behind Lady Frances Place.
The rent will be set at approximately 80 percent of current local market rent and costs for tenants will include utilities.
Additionally, the complex will see two fully accessible apartments, and all units will have in-floor heating, an emergency sprinkler system, permanent blinds and individual outside sitting areas.
“We recognized that more affordable housing units for singles were badly needed,” RRDSSAB CAO Dan McCormick said of the units.
“We were able to leverage existing property the RRDSSAB owned to build these apartments as part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate homelessness in the district.”
Recognizing that addressing homelessness extends beyond the need for housing alone, McCormick added.
“The DSSAB has also developed a partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association to help keep individuals struggling with mental health housed,” he noted.
The project began in late fall of 2017, when RRDSSAB received approval for provincial funds through the Investment in Affordable Housing to begin the build.
The build was made possible with the cooperation of the RRDSSAB board and staff, RJ Concrete and Construction, the Town of Fort Frances, Saulteaux Consulting & Engineering, and FORM Architecture Engineering.
RRDSSAB is also continuing to work with district partners to address the growing issue of homelessness through initiatives such as introducing a homeless priority category in the waitlist and ongoing funds to keep those at-risk of homelessness in their homes.