Feds announce $5 million to cover cost overruns for seniors housing project in Yellowknife

·2 min read
The federal government is providing an additional $5 million to cover cost overruns due to the pandemic for the new Avens Pavilion. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
The federal government is providing an additional $5 million to cover cost overruns due to the pandemic for the new Avens Pavilion. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

The federal government is giving an extra $5 million to a seniors housing project in Yellowknife to help cover extra construction costs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money tops up $33.7 million the federal government previously invested in the AVENS Pavilion project, which is set to provide 102 affordable housing units for seniors.

Federal housing minister Ahmed Hussen announced the funding Wednesday morning, alongside N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod and representatives from the territorial government as well as the organization responsible for the project.

Daryl Dolynny, the president and CEO of AVENS, said construction on the project will resume in March or April. The facility, which targets independent and supportive housing, should open in the fall of 2023.

He said the facility means AVENS will be able to offer the entire continuum of care for seniors — from independent living to long-term care.

Julie Green, the N.W.T. MLA for Yellowknife Centre and also the minister responsible for seniors, said it will provide a new housing option for seniors who often have to make the difficult choice to move away from Yellowknife, move in with loved ones, or choose a home that doesn't meet their needs.

"I think we all know that appropriate housing is a quality of life issue," she said.

"Many seniors are challenged to make [aging in place] a reality because of a lack of affordable, safe housing in their home communities."

She said the facility will also help to address a "significant" waiting list for independent living units.

The money is coming from the National Housing Co-investment Fund.

The announcement is the second in two days from the federal government focused on housing. On Monday, Hussen announced the Borealis Housing Co-operative in Yellowknife would receive $9 million to repair and upgrade some of its 50 units.

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