The GNWT says it is developing seniors’ duplexes using an enhanced approach that involves increased collaboration with community members guided by Housing NWT’s renewal strategy.
The territorial government, in a Dec. 21 news release, indicated that it has been involved in a “collaborative process” with residents of Fort McPherson, Fort Simpson, Fort Resolution, Tulita and Behchoko on the design and development of five new seniors’ public housing duplexes.
President and CEO of Housing NWT, Eleanor Young, said that each duplex will include two units, which adds up to 10 units in total.
Community members travelled to Yellowknife for a full day of discussion with Housing NWT staff and contractors, coming up with design ideas and refinements considering the specific housing needs of seniors in each community.
“We are taking an innovative and unique approach to include residents in planning future housing requirements across the territory,” said Housing NWT MinisterPaulie Chinna. “By doing this, we are ensuring new housing developments take into consideration what residents need and better support communities to meet future housing demands.”
The project is currently in a design phase and the intention is that all duplexes will be constructed during 2023 and finished by a target date of March 31, 2024 to start welcoming clients. No dollar figures were made public in the news release.
The GNWT also committed to using the same process for other housing projects to allow more time for collaborating with Indigenous governments, local housing organizations and other stakeholders.
“They’ve done some individual interviews in person with committee members and had a face-to-face meeting with them in late November.” Young said.
A couple of ideas were exchanged during the meeting, which included accessibility for Elders and energy efficiency, as well as some new ideas relating to self-sufficient practices for food, leaving more space for a freezer or more counter space for food preparation.
“We are short housing across the territory right now — housing is a significant issue everywhere,” Young said, “and we do know there is an aging population increase. Buildings for seniors were in high demand, so this is a solution for the aging problem that the NWT has.”
The meaning behind to build new duplexes also serve the climbing needs of seniors more likely to spend the rest of their life with family in the North instead of retiring down south.