The Wheatland Housing Management Body (WHMB) has partnered up with the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society (WAHS) in their efforts to bring palliative care and additional seniors' housing to Strathmore and area. The current Wheatland Lodge has 95 lodge supportive living units, 64 senior self-contained units and numerous rent subsidy designations. 

Glenn Koester is a board member of the WAHS and the WHMB and he explained the cost of the new lodge would be $52 million, but each individual taxpayer would only pay "about the cost of a pizza each year." If the project gets the go-ahead from all involved municipalities. 

The Chief Administrative officer of the Wheatland Lodge Vickey Cook took to Wednesday’s Town council meeting to explain the range of costs that are at the existing lodge.  

“It’s 33% of their income plus lodge accommodation fees, which is $685 and then cable everyone pays for cable at $37.” 

The maximum rent you can pay at the lodge right now is $2100. The average resident there pays between $1800-$2000. 

“Out of those 95 rooms, I forgot to mention, nine of them are super single rooms and they're the most sought-after rooms. There is an additional charge for them of $250 above the rental cost.” 

The lodge fees include meals, housekeeping, most activities, and utilities, except the telephone and the Internet. 

The WHMB ensures that each resident over the age of 65 who resides in the lodge is left with at least $342 per month in disposable income after paying their monthly basic income, rent and lodge accommodation. 

Cook explains residents can also apply for the lap grant and the grant currently subsidizes 56 out of the 95 rooms. That subsidy is $13.23 a day. 

“As for the new lodge the same rate will apply for those that are below the threshold, so there's no way of telling until people move in again, that fluctuates up and down.” 

10% of the new proposed building is going to be for residents that qualify for the lap grant.  

More phases of this proposed project will add accommodation to accommodate the senior population. “We have the phase one, the phase two, then phase three you know and so, so hopefully over the time we could accommodate everyone that is in need.”  

Any person can make an application for residency in the lodge. Point scoring will only be conducted if the applicant can meet the following criteria: must be over 65 years of age, have resided in Alberta for a minimum of 1 full year, or have resided in the past in the county of Wheatland area, have resided in Canada for a minimum of 10 years. 

“The applications receiving the highest points will be offered the next available room at the lodge. There is an exception when a unit is vacant in the lodge and no one over the age of 65 is on the wait list. A younger applicant will be given consideration based on suitability and eligibility.”  

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