Housing investment helps seniors
A $950,000 investment in pensioner housing will go a small way towards catering to the district’s ageing population.
The South Waikato District Council driven project received close to $1 million.
The money will see the construction of eight two-bedroom pensioner units and carports on vacant land on the Tokoroa Hospital campus.
Deputy chief executive Ben Smit, who submitted the pro- posal, said the project will support elderly who struggle financially.
The cost of the council’s existing two-bed units are $99 a week.
It already manages and maintains 79 units throughout the South Waikato – 51 in Tokoroa, 16 in Putaruru and 12 in Tirau.
But this will not be enough according to Statistics New Zealand. It predicts that by 2031 the number of people aged 65 years or older in the district will increase from 3000 to 5000.
The council is banking on running self-funded units, meaning there will be no impact on rates.
Smit said this will be jeopardised if too many pensioner units are vacant.
‘‘This risk will be managed by only building eight new units. As of March there were 25 people on the waiting list for a unit which indicates that there is some demand.’’
Council has found it will cost around $ 115,000 for each 60 square metre unit.