Mo­tel may rent units

Pro­posal could in­crease older peo­ple’s hous­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Ma­ture Alexan­dra res­i­dents strug­gling to find suit­able hous­ing could soon have some re­lief. Kiwi Mo­tel own­ers Janet and Philip Lu­cas have ap­plied to the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil to have the mo­tel’s land-use con­sent changed to al­low the units at the mo­tel to be­come per­ma­nent rentals. There were seven units in to­tal, three with two bed- rooms and four with one bed­room, which were used for trav­ellers’ ac­com­mo­da­tion. How­ever, be­cause of a shift in the mo­tel in­dus­try in Alexan­dra with other busi­nesses ex­pand­ing and clien­tele bases be­ing lost, it was prov­ing un­eco­nom­i­cal to run a mo­tel with fewer then 12 units, Mrs Lu­cas said. ‘‘This is the time of the year when oc­cu­pancy drops and ev­ery­one is scrab­bling to fill their places,’’ she said. Af­ter speak­ing with real es­tate agents she found there was a ‘‘gap in the mar­ket’’ for ma­ture peo­ple’s ac­com­mo­da­tion and re­alised the units would be pre­fect for some­one look­ing to down-size and not have the re­spon­si­bil­ity of main­te­nance. About 25 per cent of Alexan­dra’s pop­u­la­tion were over the age of 65, higher than the national aver­age. The units, which had un­der- gone a stylish up­grade dur­ing the past 18 months, were fully self-con­tained, apart from a shared laun­dry; fully fur­nished; had man­aged grounds, and were close to ameni­ties. Coun­cil plan­ning team leader Ann Rodgers said in the dis­trict plan a multi-unit de­vel­op­ment needed to have 250sqm per res­i­den­tial unit. Kiwi Mo­tels were over that code. Coun­cil was con­sid­er­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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