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County of Simcoe launches new age-friendly seniors housing grant program

The County of Simcoe administration centre on Highway 26. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The County of Simcoe has approved $500,000 in annual funding towards the new Age-Friendly Seniors Housing Grant program.

According to a release issued by the county on Wednesday, the new program will support eligible applicants in creating age-friendly housing through renovations or new housing developments.

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According to the release, grants will be awarded to those implementing accessible housing design, housing that incorporates support services for older adults or design for individuals suffering with dementia.

Applicants can be homeowners or developers who wish to include accessible, adaptable and inclusive design modifications for occupants aged 60 or older. Applications are open to those completing housing projects within Simcoe County, excluding Barrie and Orillia.

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The grant was recommended within the Simcoe County 2018-2023 Positive Aging Strategy, which identified a number of ways the county could prepare for the region’s aging population.

“County council continues to invest in housing and support services to meet current needs and address long-term trends in our communities,” Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall said in the release. “With this new grant program, combined with our significant investment in affordable housing for seniors and our many seniors’ service programs, the county is taking action to make our communities more age-friendly affordable and inclusive for seniors.”

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County officials say an age-friendly grant selection subcommittee will evaluate each application and make recommendations to the Simcoe County age-friendly advisory committee for endorsement.

According to the release, grant amounts will be distributed based on the number of applications received and the ability to meet the criteria for funding.

The deadline to apply for 2018 is Nov. 30.

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