Mickey Ferguson

Mickey Ferguson

Seniors housing project in Telkwa wraps up

  • Feb. 16, 2011 7:00 a.m.

With the finishing touches being completed, the interviews were underway last week for people to live at the newly finished eight unit seniors housing facility in Telkwa.

It’s been a long process, one that started in 1996 when a group of people from Telkwa and the surrounding area got together to look for options for affordable seniors housing units.

However long it may have been, Telkwa Councillor Jim Hiltz, who’s also been a member and a driving force for the Telkwa Seniors Society, said it was great to see that all these years of work have come to fruition to provide a much-needed service to seniors in Telkwa.

“Council wholeheartedly endorsed it .. and as a matter of fact they contributed quite a bit to the project,” Hiltz said.

It was in 2003 when the society, along with the Village of Telkwa, secured a parcel of land for the project, 3.3 acres in size, and when the Federal and Provincial governments announced $123.5 million in funding for projects such as this, they moved on it and, along with other smaller communities such as MacKenzie and Hazelton, received funding.

“We know in town that the Meadows, which I worked on, have a waiting list and so does Pioneer Place, so we shouldn’t have any problems filling them,” Hiltz said.

While originally hoping for 12 units, they’ll happily start with the eight, he said. Identical units, each one-bedroom suite have its own appliances, including a mobility-friendly shower. Built on the corner of Howson Avenue and Hubert Street (upper levels of Tower Street), members of the committee hope to discuss the possibility for the transport bus making a stop at the facility with BC Transit.

The units are designed for those 55 and over who are able to look after themselves, society Director Janet McDivitt said, who was excited to see the units completed after all these years.

“It’s for people who don’t want to live in town, they want to be in the country,” Director Erik Jacobsen said.

And it’s just the beginning, Jacobsen added. With property left over, they’re waiting to see how demand for these eight units go, but already things are looking promising with calls from as far away as Granisle and Kelowna for an interview. In fact, just behind these units is the perfect space for some assisted living units.

“We hope it will work out,” Hiltz said.