Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

MAJOR MONEY ANNOUNCED – Pauline Frost, the minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corp., listens Tuesday morning as Ahmed Hussen, on screen, the federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development and minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., speaks at the affordable seniors housing press conference. In the centre is Matt Cameron with Yukon cabinet communications.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

PROJECT RECEIVES FUNDING INFUSION – The 84-unit Normandy Manor development on Range Road is seen under construction on Tuesday.

Independent living complex receives major funding boost

A massive new independent living complex for seniors in Takhini has received a windfall from the federal and territorial governments.

By Tim Giilck on March 2, 2021

A massive new independent living complex for seniors in Takhini has received a windfall from the federal and territorial governments.

The two levels of government are providing millions of dollars of funding for the project.

At a new conference Tuesday morning, the federal government announced it’s providing up to $34.5 million in the form of a mortgage, while the territorial government is kicking in approximately $4.5 million. The City of Whitehorse is providing a $500,000 matching municipal grant.

The 84-unit Normandy Manor development will be built and operated by KBC developments, a local partnership of Ketza Construction, Borud Enterprises and Northern Vision Development. The company is investing $25 million of its own money into the project.

The dignitaries participating in the news conference included Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development and minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), along with the Pauline Frost, the territorial minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corp. (YHC), and Yukon MP Larry Bagnell.

They said Normandy Manor will help fill a gap in the housing continuum—housing for Yukon seniors who cannot live independently, but who are not ready to move into continuing care.

When complete, the YHC will have access to 10 units in the building as part of its community housing stock for the duration of the mortgage, which is 50 years.

The rent there will be based on 80 per cent of the Whitehorse average. The remaining units will have prices set at market rates.

The facility is already under construction on Range Road. It’s scheduled to open late in 2022.

It’s unclear what the definition of senior is for qualifying for the housing, or how the operators plan to select tenants, although it seems certain to attract more interest than units.

The participants in the news conference were unclear as to whether the money for the project had been previously promised – even though the construction is underway.

In fact, the Yukon government had said it was providing $3.5 million in funding during the fall 2020 sitting of the legislature. Hansard recorded Premier Sandy Silver making the comment last Nov. 9.

Frost said the Yukon government found the money to put in to the construction “late in the year.

“As we promised in the Housing Action Plan for Yukon, we are working hard to contribute to a sustainable and resilient housing continuum for the territory,” Frost said in a news release that was delivered following the announcement.

“It’s innovative and creative,” she added during the news conference.

“This supportive seniors’ housing project is also an example of delivering on the recently released Aging in Place Action Plan, and demonstrates what we can achieve through effective partnerships between the private sector and municipal, territorial and federal orders of government.”

“Yukon’s seniors deserve a healthy and affordable place to call home,” added Bagnell.

“Through the co-investment fund, our government is working hand-in-hand with the territory and private partnerships to ensure an increased stock of senior specific affordable housing.

“I see the housing challenges every day,” he added, saying he has worked on the issue for years.

“On behalf of council, I am excited to see more supported housing for seniors in our community,” said Mayor Dan Curtis, who also attended the news conference.

“We are proud to contribute to this project through a development incentive and we will continue to work with our government and First Nation partners to help people attain housing across the housing continuum.

“We are happy to see more seniors staying in Whitehorse, and projects like these will encourage even more.”

Curtis waxed poetic in further comments, calling the project “beyond biblical” and something the city “could never contemplate on its own.”

“Housing is a priority for this council, and we are incredibly grateful.”

Hussen said, “Normandy Manor is testament to what can be achieved when all levels of government come together with a shared purpose, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project will have on the community in Whitehorse."

The facility will feature 24-hour staffing, along with light housekeeping and meals.

Comments (16)

Up 0 Down 0

Dave Paquet on Mar 12, 2021 at 9:03 am

10 whole units! Wow! 80% of market. Wow! $40 million tax payer dollars!! WOW!
I want to build a 100 unit building. Can I “borrow” 1/2 billion? I’ll make sure we have a couple of units available for affordable housing for a week or two.

Up 4 Down 4

TheHammer on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:23 pm

We know what this is about. It was in the news last year about a seniors complex. It is going to be culture specific. Ageing parents of a certain segment of the community, and I'm not talking about First Nations.

Up 5 Down 1

Developer not sharing important information on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:07 pm

No definition of 'senior', or what makes a person eligible to live there, or how they will select tenants. Just, 'need assisted living, not ready for Whistlebend yet'.

I find it hard to believe the developers do not have a plan that is more clear than that, I am just wondering why they are not sharing and advertising that information.

Most communities have privately run seniors living communities. They are very clear about their facilities, services, and who is eligible to be there.

Up 20 Down 3

Nathan Living on Mar 4, 2021 at 12:06 pm

I too am concerned that construction was taking place then we hear what appears to be last minute grant money.
Can understand a loan but taxpayers deserve clarity on how the government arrived at the millions of grant dollars and what process was involved.

Up 24 Down 3

yukoner82 on Mar 4, 2021 at 8:48 am

Backroom deal ? sure sounds like it. The construction is well under way and previously there was no mentioning of this. (And of course NVD has their fingers in the cookie jar). We are not getting the whole story from YTG and COW here.

Up 28 Down 4

Dick on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:20 am

This is concerning. I would like to see the cost break down for running this facility, and percentage of recovery from tenants. The Yukon is unsustainable now. I am a senior and afford my home. Lucky maybe, but worry about the burden for those that have to pay for it in the future.

Up 13 Down 6

Josey Wales on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:04 am

Brent brings up a very good set of points.
Brent given the regular goings on in this town, I expect the cronies suckling will "infill" all those things in said list of valid points...in said hood.

There is gold in them thar pandering.

Up 14 Down 4

TheHammer on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:21 am

'Independent living' for those who cannot live independently' is that some kind typo? Get ready for the bed bug invasion. They have moved into all the other seniors housing complex. How many bed bug cleaning operatives are out there? Not enough!

Up 13 Down 6

Josey Wales on Mar 3, 2021 at 7:10 am

Geez...what to say?
I will go with a "Rebel" post of yesterday on how team red performs.
As I Josey, loved "Rebels" participation & moderations considerations too dang-it

Wads of cash for cronies, whoring out the vote one wad at a time.
I guess old liberals need a place to live too, maybe I should jump aboard and support team red$...the $$ wad blowing ceremonie$

Up 19 Down 6

Lmao you’re right on Mar 3, 2021 at 5:58 am

Campaigning, campaigning, campaigning. It’s now Wednesday. What kind of big money do you think the government of the day found today for what special project? Free dental care? Free daycare for all? Free toothpaste? Let’s just wait and see. Let’s get the whitewhorse west candidate to announce those too. Or maybe free haircuts from head to toe? Ahhha

Up 17 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Mar 3, 2021 at 5:32 am

Ha - Mr Bagnell where is the $950 million for community development before the last Federal election? Ranj Pillai why did you let housing fall into a crises in Whitehorse?

Up 10 Down 14

Yukoner61 on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm

@lmao - The government has been completing projects, passing legislation and funding all sorts of things over the past 4 years. You expect them to stop in an election year for some reason?

Up 7 Down 23

Matthew on Mar 2, 2021 at 5:01 pm

What about the young people? It's absolutely absurd the housing market to get into.. at least young people have a lot more to give.. they had their chance to save their entire lives, at a point where you could buy a house for 10K.. now it's 500K.. see the difference?

Up 65 Down 10

lmao --- on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:59 pm

Frost said the Yukon government found the money to put in to the construction “late in the year".

Wait, you're giving money to the elderly a month before you call the election!?

Up 80 Down 17

Brent Law on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:35 pm

Takhini has 0 cafes, restaurants, convenience shops, salons, bars... huge hills to get to any of those services, and few to no parks or walkways. Once again Whitehorse has essentially jailed elderly people in a tax funded pit. Congratulations!

Up 53 Down 14

Groucho d'North on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:09 pm

"...Hussen said, “Normandy Manor is testament to what can be achieved when all levels of government come together with a shared purpose,.." And that purpose is to get re-elected, so it's now near the end of their term and time to deliver on some of the things they promised way back in 2016.
I wonder if they are demonstrating the same diligence in getting clean water to the first nations or planting those 2 billion trees?

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