Fort Good Hope seniors home not expected to open until end of summer

·2 min read
The Fort Good Hope Seniors Centre, which will provide community home care to elders in the community. Despite an official opening in February, it still has not begun housing seniors due to an issue identified by the fire marshal. (GNWT cabinet communications - image credit)
The Fort Good Hope Seniors Centre, which will provide community home care to elders in the community. Despite an official opening in February, it still has not begun housing seniors due to an issue identified by the fire marshal. (GNWT cabinet communications - image credit)

Despite an official opening in February, a new nine-plex seniors centre in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., has yet to welcome any seniors, the N.W.T. Housing Corporation has confirmed.

The centre, which aims to provide community home care in the Sahtu community, is one of five similar complexes built across the territory to support aging in place. The building was designed in collaboration with the territory's health department, with input from the community.

The official opening was held on February 16, with Housing Minister Paulie Chinna and Julie Green, minister responsible for seniors, both attending. The housing corporation issued a press release to announce the occasion.

But the centre still has not opened. A housing corporation spokesperson confirmed it now aims to open the centre "by end of summer."

"As part of the occupancy process, an inspection of the senior's nine-plex was conducted prior to residents moving in, leading to preliminary approval for occupancy," Cara Bryant, a communications advisor for the housing corporation, wrote in an email.

"However, during a review of the design, a technical issue was identified, which must be addressed prior to occupancy."

The issue, according to the corporation, has to do with changes required by the fire marshal's office in order to address fire-related requirements of the National Building Code.

It was caught during a pre-occupancy inspection by the office, according to the corporation.

"In this case, the inspection worked as intended, since it identified the issue before it could impact any residents," said housing corporation communications manager Ben Fraser in a followup email to CBC.

The housing corporation says that all of the elders identified for housing in the new complex have been accommodated in other N.W.T. Housing Corporation units until the centre is opened.

One senior homeowner was unable to stay in his current home due to the recent flooding in Fort Good Hope, Fraser said, but he was housed in another unit.

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