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Letter: Action needed on non-profit seniors' residence

The government must move to assist the Vimy Heritage Housing Society
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Dear Premier Ranj Pillai,

I am writing to express my concern over the deafening silence from the government on funding for the non-profit seniors' residence which the Vimy Heritage Housing Society is trying to create.

When you spoke to the society in April, you assured us your government was working diligently to ensure funding would be in place early this summer so we could move forward on detailed design. I have heard no announcements. Our board is in limbo.

My frustration comes in part because the Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC) is undertaking many other projects. Renovations are happening at the former Coast Hotel for the Safe at Home Society. Your generous support of Normandy Place is enabling a private company to profit from seniors and the government. Residents of the Ryder Apartments have been re-located to make way for a new building. Boreal Commons, a partnership with a private for-profit company, has opened with your help. Funding for the Winter Crossing affordable housing project in Whistle Bend was recently announced. YHC is definitely active, as well it ought to be given the housing crisis.

However, I have heard nothing about what you have done in the last two-and-a-half months to move the Vimy project forward. It seems that seniors who have contributed to the Yukon are being neglected. Perhaps your government does not really want a non-profit to house seniors to succeed. My husband and I put our investment into Vimy over five years ago in the hope the residence would exist by the time we needed to "down-size." Alas, that need arose last year when we had to sell our too-big house and move to a small rancher. However, we are still using a home that could house a family. What we need is a non-profit seniors’ residence. That is the promise of Vimy but your government’s delays are killing that vision.

When will there be the necessary funding agreements so Vimy can move to the next step? The building foundations must be laid this fall. Funding must be within the next few weeks or another building season will slip away… and then, an election may sweep away years of work. In the hope of timely action, a fortnight perhaps, thank you.

Spence Hill