Hous­ing in­vest­ment helps se­niors

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

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.

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