Affordable Housing Facility Celebrates Renovation
New Horizons Manor just completed its 2-year remodeling project
FARGO, N.D. — Nearly 50 years ago, Todd Arntson’s life changed forever.
“I dove off of a dock when I was 21 years old and broke my neck. So, I damaged my spinal cord. My disability is called quadriplegia, so it affects all four limbs,” he said.
He was still in college and trying to get used to a life different than the one he’d always known.
“It was amazing because I was just finding, you know, the different limitations there were for people in wheelchairs that would’ve never occurred to me prior to my injury. And so, when I moved into this building, and the bathrooms are totally accessible, the elevators, the doorways, the kitchens. It was amazing,” he said.
New Horizons Manor was built in 1972 as one of the first fully handicap–accessible housing projects in North Dakota.
“I mean, nowadays, you see curb cuts all along the streets and stuff like that. When I first was in the wheelchair, I used to have to drive along the sidewalks and find driveways to get across the street,” Arntson added.
Fast forward to present day and fortunately, things have progressed … including this very building.
The 7.2 million dollar renovation project took two years to complete, but it’s finally time to cut the ribbon.
“We have remote controls to their interior apartment door. All of the cupboards are touch latch, so you won’t see a knob in the place. So, if you don’t have use of your hands, you just pop it with your arm and your cupboard door opens up. You can shut it again. The counter tops go up and down. The oven opens from the side and then you bring it out so you don’t drop something on your lap,” Deputy Director at the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Jill Elliott.
Throughout the process, the building’s residents were temporarily moved to a different unit while theirs was being worked on.
“It was a little tough during the remodel, two–year project, but we got through it and it was worth the wait,” said current resident Dean Suko.
“The changes that have come across now, with all the accessibility, all the new buildings and stuff, it’s really amazing what’s taken place here over the years,” said Arntson.
The building currently has 97 units and about 103 residents.