On Thursday, January 16, a ceremony was held to celebrate Teck’s donation of land to the Elkford Housing Society for the construction of senior housing.
The ceremony took place in Elkford on the donated 1.75 acre plot, located at 214 Alpine Way beside the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre. Among those present at the event were representatives from Teck, members from the Elkford Housing Society, and the District of Elkford Mayor, Dean McKerracher.
“We are pleased to support the Elkford Housing Society on this project. A community that cares for and empowers all of its citizens is a truly sustainable community,” said Nic Milligan, manager of social responsibility for Teck.
“Many of the seniors who will reside in these units, helped to build the mines that continue to support the Elk Valley communities.”
The donation is in response to a growing need for senior housing in Elkford.
“We discovered in the last government census that close to a third of the population in Elkford are over 55 years old. The District supplied us with money to perform a needs assessment in 2018 that let us evaluate the potential need for seniors housing in Elkford,” said Duncan McDonald, chairman of the Elkford Housing Society. “At this time we have no housing dedicated just for seniors, which forces people to leave the community to find these types of services”.
Last March, the Regional District of East Kootenay donated $20,000 to the Housing Society, a grant that was used to hire consultants to plan the scope and cost of this project, as well as to discover any other grant opportunities required for new developments.
“Now, we can focus our efforts on grant proposals, mortgage applications and design, in order to open as soon as we can to help seniors in need,” says McDonald.
Construction of the facility is proposed to begin in late summer or early fall 2020, with completion aiming for late 2021 or early 2022.
In terms of the effect this housing project will have on the pockets of taxpayers, McDonald assured that the public will not be affected other than by occasional requests for relief from building permit fees and assistance with zoning, water and sewage services.
Once the centre is up and running, it is expected to function without the need of any government assistance.