Motel may rent units
Proposal could increase older people’s housing
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.