New apartment building adds to housing options at 15 Wing
The housing options at Bushell Park continue to improve for Canadian Armed Forces members stationed at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
Last Wednesday, the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) unveiled a new six-unit apartment building at Bushell Park. The new building is part of a continuing push to add to and upgrade housing at 15 Wing. “They’re really injecting a lot of money into housing, which is good to see,” said April Hudson, housing service centre manager, Canadian Forces Housing Agency -- Moose Jaw. “Most of our portfolio was with the 1967 housing, that’s when a lot of the duplexes were built, and then the 1940s, the row houses. Since ‘67, nothing new had been built until 2015. This is huge, having this capital funding and being able to build brand new.” Each of the six units in the building is 878 sq. feet. The project broke ground during the first week of October in 2017 and cost approximately $1.8 million.
Funding for the project came from the federal government’s Infra 2016 funding. In previous years, 15 Wing has benefitted from other funding ini- tiatives that allowed them to do new builds, extensive renovations of existing buildings, smaller kitchen and bath renovations, and exterior retrofits that led to new windows, siding and doors. “We’ve received funding for three years,” Hudson said. “In 2015-16 we received FIIP -- Federal Infrastruc- ture Investment Program dollars. We did two new duplex units…brandnew homes with garages, so that was four houses. The next year we did two more, so we have eight new homes and now this new apartment.” There are now 170 housing units in Bushell Park with the completion of the apartment building. Hudson said the need for housing is not decreasing. The Moose Jaw CFHA have been given funding to begin the planning process for a new apartment complex that would mirror the one that has just been completed.
The majority of the housing portfolio at 15 Wing are three-bedroom duplex units. The new apartments are two-bedroom units, which offer a much-needed alternative.
“It’s a shift in how we’ve provided housing in the past,” Hudson said. “Usually they’re duplexes or a row of houses, but never an apartment. It’s a new shift in how we’re offering hous- ing for the members and their families.”
15 Wing Commander Col. Denis O’Reilly noted that these types of residential houses were once called “private married quarters.”
“We can see that even the change in terminology reflects the change in the demographics of who we are as men and women in uniform,” Col. O’Reilly said. “These apartments really broaden the services available to military members. Whether you’re a single person, a single parent -- man or woman -- however you define your family, having the flexibility to live in different types of housing to what suits your needs, is great. As an employer of choice, it’s important that we offer these types of options to our people in uniform.
“It’s very important; families are the strength behind the uniform.”