In the early 1980’s the Lutheran, United, and Mennonite churches in St. Jacobs recognized the need for affordable housing in their community. By working together they were able to develop Sprucelawn Apartments for Seniors. The 30 units they created have been providing housing with rents less than 80% of the market rates ever since.
In 2012 the board of Sprucelawn undertook some strategic planning and began to consider a possible expansion. It was decided that an addition to the Mill Race side, tied into the existing building, would be best. An adjoining property was purchased to accommodate the proposed addition and parking. Plans were developed for 28 new units, consisting of 20 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom apartments.
Beyond Housing has been involved in the provision of affordable housing in Waterloo Region since 2001. In 2021 Sprucelawn and Beyond Housing submitted a joint proposal to The Region of Waterloo as secured funding support for the one-bedroom apartments. On February 1, 2022 Sprucelawn and Beyond Housing amalgamated. The previous Sprucelawn board continues to be actively involved as committee members for Beyond Housing
Partnership is the way forward for not-for-profit organizations. In this instance, two strong partners have come together to accomplish something that could not have been done alone. Addressing the urgent need for affordable housing requires a collaborative approach to be successful. The need for affordable seniors housing in Woolwich Township has already been recognized by all levels of government and their financial support has been approved.
A key aspect of our approach to creating affordable housing is that projects must be developed to be financially sustainable. To make this vision a reality, the campaign will raise $2 million.