QUEEN’S PARK - NDP MPP Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay—Superior North) has written a letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, pressing for adequate funding to support the construction of affordable, non-profit independent-living housing for seniors in Thunder Bay.
The letter comes in response to Suomi Koti, a non-profit organization submitting a building plan, financial projection, and a cost estimate to the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board regarding an Expression of Interest request in 2022. In response, Suomi Koti received expressions of support but, to date, has not received any provincial funding.
"Thunder Bay has one of the fastest-growing senior populations in Canada, and the wait lists for affordable senior housing are five to seven years," said Vaugeois. " The construction of Phase 2 of Suomi Koti would help address this critical need and make affordable housing a reality for many seniors in the region. As people move into Suomi Koti, more housing stock would also become available in the city – a win/win for our communities."
For months during Question Period, Vaugeois has been emphasizing the significant need for additional affordable seniors’ housing in Thunder Bay and the challenges non-profit organizations like Suomi Koti face in meeting the requirements of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) compared to the private sector.
"When Suomi Koti purchased the property over thirty years ago, they had a vision for the future," Vaugeois added. "With the growing senior population, it's time to move forward with constructing the new facility. This government must make non-profit senior housing accessible, timely, and affordable for older Ontarians now. Five to seven-year wait lists are simply not acceptable.”