COCHRANE— Providing a boost to Cochrane's affordable housing prospects, Canlin Energy Corporation has presented $2,500 to the Cochrane Society for Housing Options.
Canlin Energy operations administrator Kaili Dale and area superintendent Kevin Hatu were on hand to present the $2,500 grant to Cochrane Society for Housing Options board members on Monday (May 10) at the Cochrane Family and Community Support Services building.
Dale said Canlin has a long-standing relationship with Family and Community Support Services and the Society for Housing Options.
“We’ve funded it in the past. Being able to provide affordable housing to people in Cochrane, which I know to be able to afford to live here is extremely expensive, if we can do our part as a community partner and offset some of that and provide some funding then we’re more than happy to do so,” Dale said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of society, including access to affordable housing, she said. It was critical to offer assistance to the Society for Housing Options to help counterbalance some of the financial stresses brought on by the virus.
Volunteers like those who give their time to the Society help Cochrane thrive, Dale said, and as a whole help make the community better.
“We’re proud to be a partner in that and support where we can,” Dale said.
Hatu said he has been inspired by the dedicated volunteers who work with the Society for Housing Options. He added some volunteers indicated they work more than 2,000 hours a year to bring affordable housing to Cochrane.
“It’s inspiring and it makes you want to do more yourself,” Hatu said.
Board member Paul Singh said the grant from Canlin Energy will help the Cochrane Society for Housing Options push for affordable housing in town. The funds will help support the day-to-day operations of the Society for Housing Options through the funding of a support worker.
“Right now, with the uncertain times everybody is feeling the pain and every little bit helps. It’s $2,500 so we are very grateful for Canlin Energy,” Singh said.
The changing housing market in Cochrane and job uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic have created a time of great uncertainty for many Cochranites. Singh said due to the growing adversity many in the community face it is essential the Society for Housing Options continues to build the town’s capacity to meet the housing needs of the community.
“People need a roof over their head. We will help build our infrastructure so we can help those people that are in need,” Singh said.
He added these housing solutions may be for the short-term to help those in need transition to more permanent housing.
As a non-profit the Cochrane Society for Housing Options exists solely on donations, sponsorship and grants said board member Samantha Nickerson, and the donation from Canlin Energy will serve as a major boost for the organization.
The Society for Housing Options owns houses in Cochrane that are rented out to people at affordable rates.
In Cochrane, affordable housing is considered 10 percent below market value, Nickerson said. There are about 38 families in town that are currently accessing affordable housing provided by the Society for Housing Options.
For Cochranites looking to support the Society for Housing Options, Nickerson recommends visiting Home Reno Heaven.
Home Reno Heaven is a fundraising business owned by the Society for Housing Options. It can accept gently used home renovation products, tools and appliances in good working order. These products are in turn sold to those working on home renovation projects.
“We’re always looking for appliances, lumber and paint— Anything that you have left over from a home renovation. All that can be donated,” Nickerson said.
The money raised from selling items goes back to the Cochrane Society for Housing Options.
Home Reno Heaven has six donation bins around town. Nickerson noted they are the only bins that will accept worn and torn textiles including clothing.
“Keep using those bins and filling them up. You don’t have to be a big business to help us out. Everybody in Cochrane can do their little bit to support affordable housing,” Nickerson said.
For more information on the Cochrane Society for Housing Options website at csho.ca or the Cochrane Family and Community Support Services website at cochrane.ca/160/Family-Community-Support-Services.