Imagine the future: planning begins for new seniors housing co-op project

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Kate Aley

Gathering to help the dream become reality, a group of approximately 17 people met at the Luskville Community Centre on May 9. The meeting was a starting point for planning new housing for seniors in the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP).

The 'imagination session' was led by Meghan Lewis, the municipality's community development officer, and two representatives from Coopérative de développement régional​ (CDR) Outaouias- Laurentides, development counselor Joelle Ritchie and assistant general manager Claudine Lalonde.

Since introducing it's official seniors policy and becoming a Senior Friendly Municipality last year, the MoP's next step on the action plan is investigating new affordable housing for seniors. Seated in front of large sheet of cardboard and an array of coloured sticky notes, participants were asked to consider a number of questions.

Where is the best place for a housing co-op to be built in this area?

What community resources already present can help to develop the project?

What are the challenges for the project; what are the greatest hopes?

What kind of services or businesses could be integrated to help the project be more viable?

"A co-op is a group of people with a common need, and because of this they have a common vision to find a way to share spaces and services," explained Mme. Ritchie. "There are many ways we can imagine this co-op."

After the people at each table had come up with some ideas, each plan was presented to the whole group and explained. Later, individuals marked ideas they especially liked with stickers. The results will be given to the MoP's new Senior's Committee to work with.

"When people get together to work out what they want, it's very exciting," remarked Mme. Lalonde, watching the busy creative process taking place.

For more information or to give your opinion on the senior's housing co-op plans, contact Meghan Lewis at the Town Hall.

819 455 2401 ext. 135.