Mayo seniors’ residence officially opened

Stacey Hassard, MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, September 4th, 2015
by Stacey Hassard, Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation

I was honoured to open the new seniors’ residence in Mayo last week with Premier Darrell Pasloski and several members of the community, including Mayor Scott Bolton, and local seniors and elders. The $3.34 million project provides low income seniors with a new rental housing option, which in turn frees up units for other residents.

Seniors represent the fastest growing demographic in Yukon. In 2011, we made a commitment to build this facility and your government is very pleased to deliver it on time and on budget. This new residence will allow seniors to remain in their home and community longer, close to family and friends. It will help to meet the need in Mayo for years to come.

Internal and external glimpses of the new Mayo Seniors Residence.

Internal and external glimpses of the new Mayo Seniors Residence.

Accessibility features, such as low-threshold showers and barrier-free design, allow seniors with physical limitations to live safe and independent lives. The energy-efficient facility also features common areas that will allow for gatherings and visits. Special attention has been paid to the bathrooms, kitchens and mechanical systems, including light switches, door handles and plumbing fixtures.

This is the second completed seniors’ residence in Yukon to employ accessibility features as recommended by Yukon Housing’s Accessibility Committee. The objective is to build seniors’ housing that allows elderly people to live independent lives in comfort and with appropriate safety enhancements. These features help seniors do common household activities that many of us may take for granted, but which may become more difficult to perform as we age.

Mayo Senior's Residence

Minister Hassard, Yukon Housing Corporation Chair Janet Moodie, Premier Darrell Pasloski and Mayor Scott Bolton at the grand opening in Mayo.

The lead for the construction of this new residence was the Yukon Housing Corporation. The Village of Mayo played an important role, contributing to this project with its gracious donation of the lot. Through the Affordable Housing Initiative, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation contributed $450,000 to the cost of the $3.34 million project.

I would like to acknowledge architect Charles A McLaren, the designer of this building and its many features, and Ken Eby and his team at Cardinal Construction whose crew of talented tradespeople constructed this unique building, again, on time and on budget.

Approximately 30 tradespeople were employed – several of these were apprentices and locally hired in Mayo. Investments made by our government into new housing projects in Yukon mean jobs for Yukoners and lasting benefits for the entire community.

In recent years, the Yukon Housing Corporation has constructed new seniors’ social housing facilities in Watson Lake, Teslin, Faro, Haines Junction, and Whitehorse, including the new 34-unit Alexander Street residence. In addition, a new 48-unit seniors’ housing complex is under construction on Front Street in Whitehorse and is scheduled for completion this fall.

I am sure the new residence in Mayo will become a gathering place for many families coming to visit elder family members and friends. This residence demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensure more housing options are available to rural seniors and elders. We made this a priority and we are proud of our track record of delivering on our promises to Yukoners.