One low-income seniors’ residence in desperate need of repair will see almost $1M in renovations thanks to the provincial government.

Located on 5th Avenue in McBride and built in 1975, Beaverview Lodge was constructed under the authority of the Old Age Pension Board as the Beaverview Lodge Society. B.C. Housing took over on Jan. 1, 1976.

“It’s getting close to the end of its life,” says a member of the executive on the Old Age Pensioners Association (OAP) Board.

“It looks good inside, but there are lots of structural things that are starting to go on it,” he says.

The lodge has 19 self-contained units, as well as common areas and an outdoor patio.

The scope of the work, according to a statement from B.C. Housing, will include a full roof replacement, new suite windows and exterior doors, and a new building envelope. The plumbing could use some work too, the member of the OAP says.

B.C. Housing says these elements are approaching the end of their life cycle and there are areas of visible deterioration.

The total contribution from the province will total $970,000.

“We’re extending the life of the building, and ensuring seniors continue to have access affordable housing in this community,” says MLA for Prince George-Valemount, Shirley Bond.

Renovations will be to the building’s exterior, which will give residents the option to stay in their suites during construction. Renovations will start this month, according to B.C. Housing, and completed by this November.

Confusion over mixed housing

There is some confusion regarding the building’s designation as a senior’s block.

Beaverview started as a seniors’ block, according to the member of the OAP, but has since become a low-income housing space, as “young people” are living there.

B.C. Housing contrasts that statement, saying, “Beaverview Lodge has always been low-income housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. There is no change.”

There are now quite a few young families on welfare living in the block, the OAP member says, and some of the seniors who have lived in the building for 15 years are quite upset about it.

“The people on low-income need housing too,” says Amyoony. “They’ve just got people in there smoking, smoking dope, playing loud music at 11 PM.”

The property manager, “has not received any resident complaints related to this topic in over a year,” according to B.C. Housing, noting once more, anyone who lives in the facility is either a senior or a person with a disability.

The Goat attempted to interview three residents of Beaverview Lodge, unsuccessfully.

“It was just for seniors, and it was pretty appropriate,” says the OAP member. But “Now it’s mixed. There are people of all ages and income levels, with different values.”

A statement from B.C. Housing reads, for anyone to live in Beaverview Lodge, they must meet the requirements of: Being seniors aged 60 and over; and persons with disabilities must be referred through their local health authority.