Fort McPherson elders move into housing units 3 months late, faulty fire alarm blamed

At the beginning of August, the N.W.T. housing corp. cut the ribbon on Fort McPherson's new elder's home — but the elders didn't move in. 

Now, more than three months later, they are.

According to Tom Williams, the president of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, problems with the building's fire alarms are to blame. 

"It was concerning for us," he said. "You do an opening, you raised expectations that people were going to move in right away and it was our hope that that was going to happen." 

The alarms were being installed when the housing corporation hosted the grand opening. The problems came up when Northwestel ran tests on the system shortly afterwards.  

Fire alarm wasn't an easy fix 

"Health and safety of tenants our first priority," Williams said. "We couldn't move people into the unit until we had a full functioning fire alarm system."  

After those initial issues, the job was delayed again, with problems coming up as the system was installed. Those problems included a more difficult than expected installation process, trouble finding a contractor to perform the work, and the time it took to ship the right materials. 

On Friday, all of the tests for the alarm system were successfully completed, he said. 

Submtted by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation

The nineplex has been in the works since about 2016. At one point, the originally-hired contractor couldn't complete the job, so the housing corporation had to find a new company to take over the project.

The home will house eight elders full time along with a caregiver. Williams said that the elders will have semi-independent living, but homecare workers will be at the facility often.

 

Williams said having elders move into the new building will ensure there is more housing available in the hamlet overall.