Military housing gets a face lift

PMQ renovation

The refurbished units in Belmont Park now have resilient Hardy Plank siding and a fresh coat of paint.

Open concept design and wheelchair accessibility are just two of the new changes made to seven of the 704 residential housing units (RHU) at CFB Esquimalt.

The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) listened to feedback by residents and developed an initiative to modernize some of the 60-year-old homes.

“We’ve been getting a lot of comments and feedback from residents for things they would change about the housing,” says Anne Corkery, Chief of Business Operations for CFHA. “For instance, we found a lot of residents were using the ground floor bedroom in the units as a dining room due to lack of space.”

Work started last year on the Belmont Park homes, which were chosen based on the amount of overhaul required. One home had severe water damage from a broken toilet.

Story Construction Ltd. and Aral Construction did the renovations, which included converting a bedroom into dining space. Days of large families have long gone, allowing CFHA to modernize the homes based on current family needs.

New roofs, siding, windows, doors, and flooring have transformed the once tired looking homes into contemporary dwellings. They’ve even revamped the interior for better flow.  

“It’s important to us that the renovations are long lasting,” says Corkery. “If we’re going to be putting time and money into these houses, they should be of the highest quality possible.”

The final touch was accommodating persons with disabilities by widening both the front and back door.

“Our goal is to make this housing as comfortable as possible, since some families will be living here for years,” says Corkery.

This minor recap project isn’t the only project with houses receiving attention. Last year a kitchen upgrade project was completed and more kitchens are slated for this year.

Still on the horizon is converting oil burning houses to air source heat pumps with electric furnace, and continuing to upgrade all military housing.

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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