New affordable housing units officially opened

Bonnie Belec
Published on May 21, 2014
Kevin O'Brien, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing (centre), poses for a photo with Randilyn and Joseph Luedee in their new apartment today at the official opening of 12 affordable seniors apartments at a complex in Pleasantville in St. John's. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

A new housing complex in Pleasantville was a beehive of activity today — a beautiful sunny day for the opening of 12 new affordable housing units in the capital city.

While labelled as seniors living accommodations, two of them are fully accessible.

The units are on the second floor of the Charter Avenue building which was developed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation with $2.3 million of funding from the provincial government.

“Everyone deserves the dignity of a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien, who is responsible for the Crown corporation.

“An investment of $2.3 million shows this government’s firm commitment to provide affordable and accessible housing, and ensure social housing priorities meet the future needs of people on low incomes,” he added, addressing a group that included representatives from the city, other politicians and tenants of the building who had gathered in the common room.

Randilyn and Joseph Luedee, who live in one of the accessible units, opened their home to the crowd.

The bright apartment has wide doors for wheelchair accessibility, a specially designed kitchen with lower cupboards and appliances and a big bathroom with accessories that enable tenants to be independent.

According to O’Brien’s department, 11 of the apartments are occupied, with officials seeking applicants for the second accessible unit.

The department stated the project provides Newfoundland and Labrador Housing with nine seniors complexes in the city of St. John’s.

 O’Brien said one of the province’s objectives is to stimulate the development of affordable rental housing by the private, public and non-profit sectors under the investment in affordable housing agreements.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael, who is also MHA for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, was on hand for the opening.

She said the 12 units are impressive and residents of the province could use more of them.

See Thursday’s Telegram for more about the need for seniors affordable housing.