Location of proposed seniors complex on Range Road in Whitehorse. The project would see 73 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units built along with a number of shared facilities. (Google Maps screen grab)

New seniors housing option could be built in a year and a half

Connecting Care outlines plans to Yukon Council on Aging members

Rent amounts still haven’t been finalized, but seniors in Whitehorse have a few more details on a proposed supportive living development being planned for 468 Range Road.

“We had a lot of interest,” said Stephanie Miller in an April 29 interview after making a presentation at the annual general meeting of the Yukon Council on Aging.

Miller is the manager of wellness and cultural development for Connecting Care Inc. based in Edmonton, which is working with local developer Dave Bored on the project.

The plans would see 73 studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units built along with a number of shared facilities.

Miller said Connecting Care has several supportive living developments in Alberta as well as offering other support options for seniors.

The proposed development would add a new option for seniors for independent living with some support services such as meals, housekeeping and laundry. Recreational activities would also be offered with underground parking being planned as well.

An exercise gym and salon are also part of the plans, Miller said, going on to highlight the possibility of a local pub.

As Miller described the supportive living option is more of a middle option aimed at those who may no longer want the daily upkeep involved with their own home, but aren’t ready for continuing care that’s offered at places like Whistle Bend Place and other extended care facilities in the territory.

Interest in the facility appeared to be strong at the annual general meeting of the Yukon Council on Aging with all the information handouts gone by the end of the session.

Connecting Care takes a person-centered approach to the well being of tenants. It seems like a natural fit for the community, she said.

Asked about how much tenants may pay for rent, Miller said that hasn’t been established yet and talks are underway with Yukon government officials from Health and Social Services and Yukon Housing.

Rental rates for a number of Connecting Care’s Alberta locations are between just over $2,000 to just over $3,000 a month, depending on the unit size.

Tenants at Connecting Care’s Points West Living facility in Stettler, Alta., for example, pay $2,036 per month for a studio apartment while those living in a two-bedroom unit pay between $2,995 and $3,325 for a two-bedroom unit.

Services there include light housekeeping, basic cable, power, heat, water and meals. There’s also optional add ons like laundry service and telephone.

As this would be the first type of housing of this kind in the territory, there are a lot of conversations that need to happen around how the model will work here, Miller said.

“We’re having the right conversations,” she said.

Officials are aiming at having the building open within about a year and a half, depending on the processes in place, Miller said, noting that ground will be broken for the new development when this construction season gets underway.

The City of Whitehorse recently approved a major development incentive for the project. Under that developers would receive a grant equal to any property tax increases resulting from improvements to the property due to the new construction. The grant would be provided to a maximum of $500,000 or 10 years, whichever comes first.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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