County council examines seniors buildings business plan

Bethany group has in-depth plan for future of facilities

An organization that provides affordable housing for seniors in this area presented some of their future plans to the County of Wetaskiwin during the regular council meeting Sept. 4.

Mike Leathwood, CAO for the Bethany Group, requested “an audience with Council to present the Wetaskiwin a Area Lodge Authority (WALA) 2019 Business Plan,’ noted the council agenda.

“The Business Plan was submitted to the Ministry of Seniors and Housing on June 29th, 2018 and covers both seniors’ lodges in Wetaskiwin and Winfield. WALA operates pursuant to the Alberta Housing Act to provide housing accommodations for persons, who because of financial, social or other circumstances require assistance to obtain or maintain housing accommodation. Member Municipalities are the City of Wetaskiwin, the County of Wetaskiwin, and the Town of Millet.”

Leathwood discussed strategic priorities with council. He stated, “The Wetaskiwin and Area Lodge Authority has identified the strategic priorities outlined in the Provincial Housing Strategy to guide operations through the next 3 to 5 years: investing now and for the future, integrated housing and supports, successful transitions and aging in community, fair and flexible and a sustainable system.”

He also noted key strategies include: increase the supply of affordable housing, improve and maintain the condition of existing affordable housing, enhance integration with community support services, enable transitions through the continuum of housing and supports, support the desire of Albertans to age in their community, modernize the regulatory framework to support equitable treatment and housing stability, improve system access and navigation, promote enhanced understanding of and coordinated response to rural and urban needs, support operational and environmental sustainability of affordable housing projects, partner with other governments to support a sustainable system and meet the housing and support needs of Albertans and Improve the knowledge of the housing and support the needs of Albertans.

Leathwood said he wanted a chance to meet council face to face, as municipalities play a huge role in seniors facilities operations.

He stated Bethany is almost 100 years old, and Christian values are part of the organization’s values statement.

It was noted WALA has 49 employees and involved in 28 communities.

Hawken noted that the County of Wetaskiwin facilities have waiting lists to get in, and once on a waiting list the person in question gets priority at either of the local facilities.

Councilors accepted Leathwood’s presentation for information.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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