Residents have banded together in the Town of Abbey to purchase a property.

The Abbey Heritage Villa apartment complex has been a part of the town since the 80's and was recently purchased for a total of $125,000. The money came from 25 locals who pitched in $5,000 each in order to own the facility as a group. 

Jenn Biensch, the economic development officer for the Town of Abbey, says the reason they bought this building was to prevent it from being purchased by an outside entity. 

"We don't know what would have happened to the building," said Biensch. "It could have been turned into an assisted living facility. It could have been turned into a cult commune. We don't know, and that's what we wanted to avoid."

For now, there are 6 residents who reside in the apartments. The owner's group has agreed to allow them to continue living there, with no current plans to alter the purpose of the building. 

Biensch beleives that having more readily available rentals is a good thing, as there has been a high demand for rental properties in southwestern Saskatchewan communities. 

"I think all rural communities are experiencing a rental housing shortage right now," concurred Biensch. "So we're looking at this as an opportunity to take control of that, and hopefully provide some housing that is needed."

Individuals looking to rent in Abbey will be able to inquire about the possibility of getting into one of the available units starting tomorrow, as that is when the buyer's group officially takes ownership. 

"We're excited to be able to maintain control of what the building is used for or who owns it, along with who lives there," said Biensch. "So that we don't run into another situation that some of our surrounding community counterparts have experienced in the last few months."