FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Seniors Housing Society is working on adding a fifth building to their network amid a heavy need for seniors housing in Fort St. John.
The Housing Society’s Manager Kim Wilson says that they currently oversee 144 units in its four buildings in the north end of Fort St. John, 44 of which offer a meal plan service. Wilson says that the wait list for any of their units rarely has fewer than 100 persons on it, with 35 persons waiting waiting for a unit that has meal service.
The buildings have a large range of services and amenities, which allows for the Society to help grow the community feel within the complex. The residents of the four apartment buildings have the use of a large number of activities and rooms, including a hair salon, solarium, rooftop patio with a rooftop garden, a church, a workshop, hobby room, several lounges, dining rooms, games room, exercise room, dance hall, among a large range of others. Wilson explained that many of the items in the common areas, including the snooker table, have been donated by members of the community.
Wilson said that the Society recently took back operating Building #3 after they gifted it to Northern Health, who operated the old care home inside the building. The health authority gifted the building back to the Society several years ago when Peace Villa opened. After a renovation, the opening of the building 18 months ago added 26 units to the Society’s stock.
Wilson explained that though the Society has added to its number of units in recent years, there is still a large demand. The Society does own the Elks building on 100th St., which is planned to be renovated and expanded to add more seniors housing units to the North Peace. However, the Society says that its goal of fundraising for the construction is still a long way off, as the estimated cost of adding a fifth building is approximately $14 million.