$12.7M seniors’ housing complex opens

The Yukon government unveiled the new 34-unit Alexander St. seniors' residence this week. Rick Goodfellow sat on the accessibility committee that helped to design the suites with seniors' needs in mind.

The Yukon government unveiled the new 34-unit Alexander St. seniors’ residence this week.

Rick Goodfellow sat on the accessibility committee that helped to design the suites with seniors’ needs in mind.

He showed off some of the features of one of the complex’s four barrier-free suites to reporters on Thursday.

In the kitchen, cabinets, surfaces and even the stove-top move up and down at the press of a button.

The dishwasher is in the middle of the kitchen rather than tucked into a corner, so dishes can be reached from either side.

The cooking range, which had yet to be installed, will have controls on the front rather than in the back, said Goodfellow.

A lot of injuries for people in wheelchairs come from reaching across hot elements to get to controls, he said.

In the bathroom, there is plenty of room and lots of handlebars, and you can roll right into the shower area on a wheelchair.

The accessibility committee was impressed at how quickly and completely architects delivered on its wish list of features, said Goodfellow.

Four of the units in the complex have those features, designed specifically with people in mind who are wheelchair-bound.

The rest of the units are considered fully accessible but lack some of the extras, like height-adjustable surfaces and barrier-free showers.

Contractors are putting the finishing touches on the building this week.

The Yukon Housing Corporation expects to take possession towards the end of the month, said spokesperson Doug Caldwell.

Senator Dan Lang, MP Ryan Leef, Premier Darrell Pasloski and Housing Minister Brad Cathers were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.

“It was only a couple of years ago that we were standing here in front of the old Alexander St., and in a very short period of time, here we are with a new building, new opportunities, new hope for people in our community,” said Leef.

The building replaces an earlier senior’s complex on the same site. It had 14 units, and closed in 2011.

When the project was announced in August 2012, then-Housing Minister Scott Kent said residents would be moving in by the summer of 2014.

This week Caldwell said that residents should begin moving in towards the end of the month, and have all 34 units filled by the end of the year.

That should put a dent in the housing corporation’s waiting list, which is currently about 85 people long, he said.

“We’re not going to exhaust the list, but we’ll make a real good effort to get a lot of them housed.”

Barrier-free units will be reserved for those who need a wheelchair, he said.

Other priorities are finding homes for people who need to relocate from the communities for medical reasons, who are currently homeless or who have serious mobility issues where they currently live, he said.

“The physical abilities is one of the key ingredients we look at to ensure that the right people get into the right place,” said Caldwell.

All of the units in the new residence are single bedroom.

To qualify for one of these units, a person must be at least 60 years old and household income must not exceed $40,500.

Those rules are the same for all one-bedroom seniors units located in Whitehorse.

Rent for all social housing is set at 25 per cent of gross taxable income.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

Most Read