Seniors’ housing units in North Quesnel already in high demand

The Quesnel Lions Housing Society will soon be taking inquiries for Silver Manor

  • Mar. 31, 2018 12:00 a.m.
Mitch Vik, president of the Quesnel Lions Housing Society, stands in front of Silver Manor, an affordable seniors housing development under construction at the corner of Reid Street and McNaughton Avenue. Nicole Field photo

Mitch Vik, president of the Quesnel Lions Housing Society, stands in front of Silver Manor, an affordable seniors housing development under construction at the corner of Reid Street and McNaughton Avenue. Nicole Field photo

The construction of a senior’s housing development at the Reid and McNaughton intersection is moving along with great success. It’s name, Silver Manor, was given in honour of a greatly admired and dedicated Lion and community volunteer, Ron Silver, who passed away in 2017.

President of the Quesnel Lions Housing Society (QLHS) Mitch Vik says this development has been a collaborative funding effort between QLHS and the community, federal and provincial government, Four Rivers Co-op and through development cost and property tax incentives by from the City of Quesnel. The British Columbia government provided the great majority of financing.

The building, which began construction in October 2017, will have 30 one-bedroom apartments, the majority of which will be rented at below-market rates, and four market units. All units are accessible, but two will be designated fully accessible and feature kitchens designed for persons in wheelchairs.

Being the first apartment building in North Quesnel built in a quarter century, the building is going to be the most energy-efficient, large-scale building in the city, along with the Dakelh and Quesnel Community Housing Society’s new apartment building near the Dairy Queen, says Vik. QLHS has made sure to use state-of-the-art practices to ensure they meet that standard.

Silver Manor is pegged to be 30 per cent more efficient than the standard building code demands. Some features include R60 insulation in the roof/attic, heat recovery from vented air, LED lighting, and a roof engineered to accommodate solar panels, which QLHS may look into installing in the future.

The Dakelh building, at 424 McLean Street, will have 38 units and is funded in part by BC Housing. It too will be affordable housing for low- to moderate-income seniors, according to the BC Housing website.

With the increasing number of seniors in the community, these units will be in high-demand.

“Our demography is [significantly] changing, as indicated in our last census,” Vik says.

“We have a lot of baby boomers coming to the age of retirement, and beyond. There’s going to be a huge demand for [these] units as [seniors] devolve themselves from their homes and are looking for affordable, strategically located apartments close to amenities … we feel well positioned to serve the community with this project.”

With construction already at the final floor of the four-storey building and the roof now underway, several inquiries have been flooding in about applications and pricing.

The necessity for housing local seniors is quite high and the demands are understandably increasing. The intention of the QLHS is to have an easily accessible rental agreement in the coming months.

In the meantime, interested persons may subscribe to the QLHS “Request for Information List”. This inquiry form is set to be available in two weeks’ time. It will allow potential applicants to sign up to be informed when the society is ready to accept applications. Applicants are not required to be a Lions Club member; any eligible senior is welcome.

A direct office line for inquiries is in the works, and inquiry forms will be available soon at K-Max and will include the contact number.

Currently, there is not a concrete rental price or application system in place. Vik can say for certain that the rent rates will be a minimum of 10 per cent below market rents for a building of its quality in Quesnel, but a definite price won’t be available until the total cost of construction has been finalized.

Vik says QLHS is mindful of demand from eligible residents.

“We want people to feel that, yes, your name is on file and you’ll be contacted when policies are updated to allow for registration.”

The occupancy date goal for the building should run from the beginning of December 2018 through to January 2019.

Donations can still be made through the QLHS “buy a brick” program, by visiting their website at qlionshousing.ca or by stopping by K-max at 326 Reid Street. Bricks are also available at Lions’ monthly garage sale at the Maple Park Mall.

Your donation guarantees a memorial plaque displayed inside the building under any name of your choosing.

Contact QLHS at quesnellionshousing@outlook.com for further information.

Quesnel Cariboo Observer