New building, old idea for Alexander Street

A new seniors' home will rise from the rubble of the aging, soon-to-be-demolished Alexander Street facility, the Yukon government announced Wednesday.

A new seniors’ home will rise from the rubble of the aging, soon-to-be-demolished Alexander Street facility, the Yukon government announced Wednesday.

Residents should move into the new building by the summer of 2014, said Scott Kent, minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation.

The new building will include 34 new units – 21 more than what stands there now.

The project is expected to cost $12.6 million. Ottawa is throwing in $2.55 million.

The territory previously planned to transform 207 Alexander into supportive housing for people with disabilities. But, after residents were moved into the new residence at Waterfront Place, across from Walmart, it was discovered that it would cost more to renovate the building than tear it down and rebuild.

That’s largely because of the presence of asbestos and lead paint – common building materials back in 1963 when the residence was built, but considered hazardous materials now, and costly to remove.

At Wednesday’s announcement, Premier Darrell Pasloski, MP Ryan Leef and Kent all commented on how perfect the location was for seniors who tend to prefer downtown apartments, close to their doctors and grocery stores.

The location served well as a seniors’ home for 50 years before it was closed last summer.

“Seniors are the fastest-growing population group in Yukon,” said Kent. “The number of seniors 65 and older is projected to almost double by 2021 to make up 15 per cent of the population.”

There are 50 seniors on the waiting list for housing, and another 50 people on the social housing waiting list, said Kent.

Making more housing for seniors should ease demand for social housing, said Claire Derome, chair of the housing corporation’s board.

In the past five years, the Yukon Housing Corporation has built nine seniors’ housing units in Haines Junction, six in Faro, eight in Teslin, 12 in Watson Lake and 30 in Whitehorse, she said.

Others communities may also see more senior housing in the future, she added.

But that’s still not enough, said Kate White, the NDP’s housing critic.

“One-off project announcements like we’ve just gotten from the territory and federal governments aren’t going to solve the problem,” she said. “The housing crisis is the Yukon Party government’s biggest failure. We don’t need to look very far to be reminded that they’re still sitting on $13 million of federal affordable-housing money that hasn’t been used. And we’re still waiting for a housing strategy. We want a clear plan with targets and timelines, and something that’s attainable.”

None of the $7.4 million going to Alexander Street would be coming from the $13 million left over from federal funding the territory collected from 2008 to 2010, said Pasloski.

White also criticized the seniors’ units at the Waterfront Place. They have things like one-piece tubs that many seniors cannot get in and out of easily, she said.

Working with seniors directly would make sure things like that don’t happen again, she added.

Work on Alexander Street will begin immediately, with the tendering of the demolition contract, said Kent.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Yukon Budget 2.0

If the banks that finance the Yukon’s growing debt were the only… Continue reading

Yukon Supreme Court Chief Justice Suzanne Duncan dismissed an application on May 3 seeking more transparity on the territory’s state of emergency declaration. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Supreme Court rules confidential memo can’t be used in challenge of state of emergency

Court upholds cabinet confidentiality after request to use internal government memo as evidence.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 7, 2021.… Continue reading

Yukon Party MLAs Wade Istchenko and Stacey Hassard are facing criticism for crude text messages in a group chat. (Submitted)
First Nations leaders call for stricter punishment of Yukon Party MLAs

Queer Yukon has also criticized the two individuals involved in an inappropriate group chat

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Orienteers were back in action for the season’s first race

The Yukon Orienteering Association began its 2021 season with a sprint race beginning at Shipyards.

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 3 meeting and the upcoming 20-minute makeover.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister talks tourism in “virtual visit” to the Yukon

Tourism operators discussed the budget with Freeland

Polarity Brewing is giving people extra incentive to get their COVID vaccine by offering a ‘free beer’ within 24 hours of their first shot. John Tonin/Yukon News
Polarity Brewing giving out ‘free’ beer with first COVID vaccination

Within 24 hours of receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine, Polarity Brewing will give you a beer.

A Yukon government sign is posted to one of the trees that have been brought down for the sewer project in Riverdale explaining the project. The area is set to be revegetated with grass when it is complete. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Planned stormsewer outfall will improve drainage on Selkirk Street

Resident raises concern over clearing as council considers agreement.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

Most Read