John Van De Velde of John V Construction stands by while Tony Vandermeulen of Anthony’s Excavating takes a break in the excavator at the groundbreaking for five new units at the Tuck Avenue Senior Citizens Residence.

Seniors housing project underway in Terrace

Five units being added to the Tuck Seniors Citizens Residence

AN addition to a seniors housing complex on Tuck Ave. is underway thanks to reduced rates being charged by local trades.

And the Terrace and District Christian Council for Social Resources will be seeking volunteer labour as the five-unit construction project moves along, says the council’s secretary treasurer, Lowell Holmquist.

Excavation of the site began mid-April and footings were poured shortly after even though the project was not yet fully financed, he noted.

“Provincial housing organizations are reluctant to believe that a community like Terrace can come together in a way that benefits a local community-based organization, and ultimately for the benefit of seniors living under the provincial low income cut-off level,” said Holmquist.

“However, that is one of the many advantages of living in a community like Terrace.”

There are already 18 units in five buildings at the location, providing low cost housing for senior citizens.

With the additional construction, it will be a six building complex with 23 units: 14 bachelor and nine one-bedroom places.

The bachelor units are approximately 340 square feet, and the one bedroom units are approximately 520 square feet.

The layout of the units is simple and open with large windows in the living area that open on to lawns and gardens and a front and back door to let in fresh air when the weather is nice.

Holmquist said the project is the result of a partnership with the city’s housing committee and the city itself through grants for rezoning and planning.

A project steering committee was formed last year among members of the community.

City development services director David Block helped secure Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation money for architectural drawings and preliminary expenses.

Contributions and reduced trades rates has reduced the estimated cost of the project by almost half, said Holmquist.

John Van De Velde of John V Construction has volunteered to be the construction manager and he arranged for the reduced rates.

The Terrace and District Christian Council for Social Resources, a body of people from a variety of churches, has been in existence since the mid-1960s with its main project being the Tuck Senior Citizens Residence.

Almost all of the current units have been completely renovated in the last decade – they are updated or renovated when they become vacant.

Laundry facilities are provided in an amenity building where there is also a small kitchenette, washrooms, and a common area.

The Tuck housing expansion is one of several initiatives to expand housing options undertaken by the city. It also provided land and assistance leading to the construction of the provincially-owned Market Estates project on Davis Ave. across from George Little Park.