THUNDER BAY, ON ----- July 12, 2012 – To better enable seniors to age in place and remain in their home community, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) has improved the accessibility of the housing stock in the Township of Nipigon. With the installation of an elevator at Sjolander Court seniors apartments, ten apartment units are now accessible for seniors living with mobility challenges and waiting for affordable and accessible housing.
“Numerous studies and discussions identified a serious lack of accessible housing for seniors as a barrier to their participation as full members of the community” said Bob Katajamaki, Chair of TBDSSAB. “Many seniors have had to leave the community to find suitable housing elsewhere as a result.” Sjolander Court apartments on the lower level have been full with a long waiting list, while the second floor has had vacancies due to poor accessibility. “With the addition of the elevator, we have now opened up ten new spaces for seniors with accessibility issues”, explained Katajamaki.
The funding for the installation of the elevator at Sjolander Court was provided through the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program (SHRRP) and TBDSSAB reserve capital. The SHRRP is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments to create and repair social housing units across Ontario. “We are very pleased that with the addition of the elevator, senior residents will be able to retain their independence and stay in their home community much longer than before”, said Katajamaki. “This investment will serve to both improve the quality of life for seniors in Nipigon and ensure the municipality retains more of its population during a time of economic uncertainty for many communities throughout the District.”
To officially open the elevator for public use a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at Sjolander Court, 174 Bell St. in Nipigon at 11:00 a.m., on Thursday July 12, 2012.