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UPDATED: Seventy-unit apartment complex project in Summerside receives federal funding, allocates 30 affordable housing units

Arnold Croken, left, Tina Mundy, former minister of human and family services, Dave Arsenault of Arsenault Bros. Construction, Minister of Social Development and Housing for P.E.I. Ernie Hudson, Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart and MP for Egmont Bobby Morrissey view the concept art for the 70-unit apartment complex that is being built in downtown Summerside.
Arnold Croken, left, Tina Mundy, former minister of human and family services, Dave Arsenault of Arsenault Bros. Construction, Minister of Social Development and Housing for P.E.I. Ernie Hudson, Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart and MP for Egmont Bobby Morrissey discuss the concept art for the 70-unit apartment complex that is being built in downtown Summerside. - Millicent McKay
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

The shovels are in the ground, the dirt is stirring and affordable and other housing units are coming to downtown Summerside. 

An apartment project by Arsenault Bros. Construction recently got started with infill and other debris moved from the site that formerly housed a Burger King restaurant near the city's waterfront. 

On Tuesday, it was announced the project received federal, provincial and municipal support to make it more affordable to prospective renters. 

A rendering of the seven-storey, 70-unit apartment building being built in Summerside.
A rendering of the seven-storey, 70-unit apartment building being built in Summerside.

Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey announced Ottawa's contribution of $15.18 million for the construction of the seven-storey, 70-unit building through the National Housing Strategy.

The National Housing Strategy is delivered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

It supports affordable rental housing construction options close to public transit and services for modest and middle-income individuals and families.

Thirty of the units will be affordable housing through a provincial program while the other 40 will be market-rate pricing and will range in size from 850 to 1,230 square feet. 

"This will address all the issues that have become current in the city," said Morrissey, adding: "These investments also create good jobs and grow the local economy and are making a big difference in building a more sustainable future through more energy-efficient and affordable homes." 

The building, located at 160 Water Street (commonly known as the "old Burger King") is on land formerly owned by the Summerside Port Corporation. 

Ernie Hudson, Minister of Social Development and Housing for P.E.I., said the 30 affordable units will come from the Island's registry and be supported by the province. 

"It's more than just a roof overhead. It's about feeling safe and secure," said Hudson. "Affordable, safe and secure housing is critical for success from raising healthy children, to pursuing education, jobs and other opportunities, to ageing in place." 

George Sheen, a former Summerside resident who currently lives in Ontario, was at the announcement. 

Before leaving the Island, Sheen used to sell houses in the area. 

"Having this [apartment building] in the downtown will add to any business. It's convenient. We need that nucleus in the city and we lost it over the last number of years." 

Sheen said there would also be spin-offs to the trade and other industries. 

Dave Arsenault, a property manager with Arsenault Bros., said it feels great to invest in the city. 

"Summerside has grown. You see the downtown has become a bit more vibrant. It's more of a friendly place you see all these new ventures, it's becoming a real hub. It's nice to be able to contribute." 

His mindset that, "more people equals more business equals more jobs," was met by Morrissey. 

"Business will follow people. We need to find a way to incorporate people into the revitalization of downtown." 

millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com 
instagram.com/modernmillee 


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