Meeting demand for seniors’ housing
Forty-eight seniors have a safe and secure roof over their heads thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion.
They are all residents of Charwood Legion Manor and Cottages in Carbonear. The cottages were officially opened last week. They are the latest addition to the sprawling seniors’ complex, which has been growing and expanding in leaps and bounds since it first opened its doors almost a quarter century ago.
Just three years after it first opened in 1988, Charwood saw its first growth spurt with the opening of eight more units in 1991.
When the sod was turned for the original apartment building on Pike’s Lane back in the fall of 1987, who could have dreamed that by 2011, the seniors’ complex would have almost doubled in size and reached all the way to Cross Roads?
Perhaps only those who conceived the idea for the complex could also foresee a day when it would fill and actually outgrow its site.
The original concept of a housing complex for seniors was the brainchild of half a dozen members of the Royal Canadian Legion, who had the foresight back in the 1980s to see the need for such a facility - a demand that could only grow as the numbers of seniors who would require housing increased.
Board secretary, Leslie Forward, who chaired last week’s official opening ceremony spoke of the “marvellous vision” they must have had back then.
It was interesting, but not surprising to learn, that in its 23 years of operation, Charwood has never had a single vacancy. In fact, demand for rooms there is so great that apartments only remain vacant long enough to cleaned and freshened up with a coat of paint before the next tenant moves in.
While it must be satisfying to be able to provide such accommodations, it must also be frustrating to try and keep up with what appears to be an insatiable demand for seniors’ housing.
To illustrate just how great the demand is for such accommodations, the board has approximately 70 individuals on its waiting list to get in.
Charwood’s current site from Pike’s Lane to Cross Roads has now been completely filled with apartments and cottages. Despite the great demand for additional units, unless adjacent land should become available at some point in the future, there is just no more room to grow.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) should also be acknowledged for their investment in the capital cost of this worthwhile project.
For the Legion, various levels of government, town, residents, and anyone else involved, from day one, this project has been an all-around success story.
- Bill Bowman