FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Landlord Upgrade means more freedom for elderly residents
Accessibility renovations in time for December UN Day of Persons with Disabilities.
November 28, 2014, WEST VANCOUVER, BC — Shorewood Manor in West Vancouver is getting an accessibility overhaul just in time for UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Austeville Properties Ltd., which has owned and managed the rental building for 21 years, initiated the upgrade to make life easier for its elderly tenants. The renovation includes a wheelchair-accessible ramp in the lobby, touch-opening doors and brighter corridors.
Many of the residents of the coveted seaside rental apartment are senior citizens. For most of them, the three small stairs leading from the building’s front door to the elevator bank meant they had to use an alternate entrance to get to their suites.
“Many of our tenants have been with us for a long time,” said Austeville President and CEO Andrew Abramowich. “We really value them and the unique community feeling they have created in the building, so we wanted to make whatever upgrades we could to help them live more comfortably. We knew we needed to install a ramp in the lobby, and that prompted us to look at other accessible accommodations we could make on the property.”
Like most renovation projects, it sounded straightforward in the initial planning stage. But the reality proved far more complex. Replacing the stairs turned into a longer and more costly process because of the configuration of the lobby and the rules governing the slope and rise of accessible ramps. In the end, the lobby floor had to be raised to make it possible to include a ramp.
But it was worth it for residents like 94-year-old Jean Taggart, who has lived in the building since 1991. In recent years she has had some medical issues that made it hard for her to manage stairs. She said, “I’m absolutely thrilled about the new ramp. For me this means freedom and independence.”
Onsite building managers Galia and Vassili said Taggart is not alone. “We always tried to help our older residents up the stairs when we saw them coming into the building, especially if they were carrying packages. Now they are so happy that they can easily open the front door and get to the elevators without help,” said Galia.
More than four million Canadians live with a disability, a number that’s expected to rise exponentially over the next decade as our population ages. By meeting the needs of this growing group of apartment renters, Austeville is ensuring its tenants remain independent for as long as possible.
UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3 to reaffirm and draw attention to the rights of people who live with disabilities.
Austeville Properties Ltd. has been providing people with the very best in rental accommodations in Greater Vancouver since 1965. Austeville strives to create strong ties between residents, their neighborhoods and their communities – one that fosters a sense of belonging that can be hard to come by in most rental properties. Because Austeville manages the buildings it owns, it always provides top-quality maintenance and care to ensure that residents have utter peace of mind.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact: Chantal Bui Viet, Executive Assistant to the CEO, Austeville Properties at: [email protected] or 604.216.5506