If you are an “empty nester” aged 55 and over, the proposed Rainy River Life Lease non-profit co-operative housing project may be for you.
A number of us who attended the first Rainy River meeting on the proposed project visited the Kenora Life Lease Southward Villa. This one-year-old, five-story, 27-unit building, complete with elevator, common room and other amenities, provided (in my opinion) an affordable, good quality, non-subsidized housing option.
We visited and had lunch with several of the resident lessees in the common room, and later were treated to a viewing of five different suites on various floors.
The suites we viewed ranged from a single bedroom (800 square feet) to a two-bedroom (1,100 square feet). They were designed to the resident lessees’ specifications and pocketbooks.
The Kenora Southward Villa, a first in Northwestern Ontario following concepts of several in Manitoba, is under the control of an elected nine-person resident board governed by their own bylaws.
As stated, the project is non-profit, and provides the benefits of renting and the privilege of ownership. Life Lease features a refundable entrance fee (one-third of the cost of your chosen unit). The fee does not appreciate nor depreciate over time but guarantees security and reduces monthly costs.
Monthly costs include utilities, maintenance, administration, common area costs, and mortgage payments.
You also may contribute to a second refundable security fund exceeding your minimum entrance fee. Because the project is non-profit, interest earned on this contribution is income tax exempt and income earned is applied to reduce your monthly rent.
The Rainy River site has a river view, and is close to a new respectable residential subdivision development. It is anticipated land costs will not sink the project. But for the project to be viable, we were advised at Kenora the minimum number of units is 18.
If you are interested in this kind of accommodation, contact Dan Wright, Community Development co-ordinator, Rainy River Future Development Corp., at the Rainy River satellite office (852-3224).