Keep­ing se­niors at home

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jef­fers

MORE than a decade of lob­by­ing will be re­warded when con­struc­tion be­gins on the first of 55 se­niors homes next April at the old Man­jimup Pri­mary School site.

A mile­stone in the Man­jimup Se­niors Liv­ing Pro­ject was reached when it was an­nounced last week a sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tion had been lodged with the Western Aus­tralian Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Un­der the pro­ject 10-15 homes will be built a year over four years for peo­ple over 55 look­ing to down­size to more af­ford­able liv­ing ar­range­ments.

Man­jimup woman Jill Wool­lams said she first put for­ward the idea the site be used for se­niors hous­ing about 12 years ago when the school closed.

“It’s not be­fore time, it’s much needed and to see it hap­pen will see my dream come true,” she said.

“It’ll keep our im­por­tant se­niors in town, they have a wealth of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence they share with the com­mu­nity.”

Mrs Wool­lams said the homes were de­signed for the spe­cific re­quire­ments of se­niors.

“Peo­ple get a lot of choice, it ad­dresses the cri­te­ria that se­niors need,” she said.

Man­jimup shire pres­i­dent Paul Omodei said the time­line an­nounce­ment was some of the best news he had heard in a long time.

“It’s some­thing the com­mu­nity has been cry­ing out for and it’s in line with our am­bi­tions for the Shire of Man­jimup Age-Friendly Com­mu­ni­ties Plan,” he said.

“This is about keep­ing our se­niors close to their fam­i­lies.

“Hav­ing the site close to ameni­ties is im­por­tant, like the Well­ness Cen­tre and the CBD, the site is so well lo­cated.”

De­part­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties act­ing gen­eral man­ager com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions Nigel Hind­marsh said se­niors around the State were strug­gling to find suit­able “down­sizer hous­ing” close to where they lived.

“The Man­jimup Se­niors Hous­ing Pro­ject will ad­dress this gap, de­liv­er­ing ap­pro­pri­ate hous­ing op­tions for se­niors at an af­ford­able level,” he said.

Civil works will be­gin at the site in Jan­uary.

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