Exploring Options for Housing
In 1962, when Ed Roach rose to speak at a community meeting he had organized in response to the growing plight of seniors living alone in substandard housing, he spoke about society’s responsibility to its most vulnerable citizens. By the end of the evening, he had convinced those attending to come together under the banner of a new organization committed to changing the landscape for seniors in Nova Scotia. It was the birth of Northwood and the beginning of a revolution in Continuing Care.
Ed Roach, Northwood’s first President and CEO, became a strong voice for change, arguing that seniors had a right to adequate housing, to be treated with dignity and to live life to the fullest. His first project was the construction of an affordable housing project in North end Halifax called Northwood Towers.
Marjorie Lindsay, an original Board member, remembers the flood of applications that came pouring in soon after construction had started. There were stories of quiet desperation, hardship and financial woe. It didn’t take long to fill the building.
Times have changed. As Canada’s baby boomers reach retirement age, there are many more options for them than their parents ever had. Builders have geared their developments to an older population offering worry free living, spacious apartments and access to a variety of services. New assisted living residences have sprung up across the country offering supportive living for a price.
What hasn’t changed is the need for more affordable housing for seniors and people at risk. Northwood is stepping forward and has identified the need for new options that provide both choice and flexibility. As part of its housing strategy Northwood has focused its efforts on:
- Ensuring programs and services are available to those who may not be able to access housing due to financial restraint.
- Targeting vulnerable populations over the age of 65 who need access to safe and supportive environments.
- Offering a range of housing options along a continuum that includes Independent Living, Enriched or Supportive Living and affordable Assisted Living.
- Responding to unmet needs for unique housing options for defined or underrepresented populations.
- Exploring opportunities for development of the land we own adjacent to Ivany Place in Bedford.
Northwood is committed to providing affordable options for seniors and people at risk in a safe and supportive environment and promotes the development of community.