Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of the year at the new six-plex unit going up at Pleasant Valley Village. Here is Arnold Amonson outside the new facility.

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of the year at the new six-plex unit going up at Pleasant Valley Village. Here is Arnold Amonson outside the new facility.

Volunteers help ease seniors housing shortfall

A new six-unit building promises to ease the shortfall of seniors housing in Houston.

A new six-unit building promises to ease the shortfall of seniors housing in Houston.

Specially constructed to foster a community among seniors and built specifically with a senior’s needs in mind, rent will cost $625 for the two-bedroom and $590 for the one-bedroom, hydro excluded. The project cost about $700,000.

“Most of the money came from the credit union loan, but because we have two [buildings] already, we can afford to take a risk and borrow it,” general contractor and board of directors president Arnold Amonson said. “We can pay easily the payments from the rent.”

The new building contains four two-bedroom and two one-bedroom units and it started construction in June and the builders hope to have it done by the end of the year, and even before construction concludes, a wait list of over 20 interested applicants has built up.

“Now we’ve got a list of people wanting to move in, that’s way more than we have room for. So we’ll be going from the top of the list down,” Amonson said.

In order to apply for a unit, one applicant in the household must be at least 60 years old.

Volunteers also make up a good portion of the labour that goes into the building’s construction.

“There’s about three or four volunteers here every day,” Amonson said. “We depend on them a lot.”

Volunteers help out in each step of the way including framing, flooring and insulation. In the past, Amonson and his wife have helped out on the flooring on an older building. Contractors complement volunteers.

“They do all the plumbing and all the electrical, and all the drywalling,” Amonson said. “But everything else is done by the carpenter and the volunteers.”

In order to complete the project, Amonson believes more volunteer assistance will help greatly.

“We could always use more volunteers,” Amonson said. “Volunteers will be doing insulation, vapour barrier and siding, and later on we will be doing flooring and all those steps that we need to finish.”

“We could use any skill level, if they’d like to volunteer, they’ll call me and talk about it.”

Amonson can be reached at 250-845-2132.