New apart­ment build­ing adds to hous­ing op­tions at 15 Wing

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

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.”

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