Rental hous­ing for older peo­ple

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice - By CHRIS STEEL

Hous­ing in the Western Bay of Plenty over the next 30 years will be a big is­sue as we look to house an ex­tra 66,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to Smart­growth. Na­tion­wide there are grow­ing num­bers of older peo­ple en­ter­ing re­tire­ment with low eq­uity. By 2030 in New Zealand renters aged 65 and over will to­tal over 275,000 (97,000 in 2013 cen­sus) — a growth rate of over 8000 per an­num.

A group of lo­cal peo­ple are look­ing to the fu­ture, propos­ing to build an Abbey­field house in Katikati for 12-14 res­i­dents of the Western Bay of Plenty. Abbey­field is a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vides com­pan­ion­able sup­ported rental hous­ing for in­de­pen­dent older peo­ple. No cap­i­tal con­tri­bu­tion is re­quired and the rental cost in­cludes an en­suite stu­dio, meals pro­vided by a cook and shared com­mu­nal ar­eas.

The Abbey­field Katikati steer­ing group was formed in May 2018 and con­sists of 10 lo­cal res­i­dents. The group wants to make the com­mu­nity aware that they want to build an Abbey­field house here and are look­ing at fund­ing mod­els and suit­able land. They are talk­ing with Western Bay of Plenty District Coun­cil and oth­ers, but have not yet iden­ti­fied suit­able land.

Abbey­field NZ ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Su­san Jenk­ins was in Katikati re­cently. She said there are al­ready 13 Abbey­field houses in New Zealand and Katikati was a tar­get lo­ca­tion for a new house.

Mrs Jenk­ins said Na­tional Su­per­an­nu­a­tion has been de­signed for peo­ple who own their own homes, not renters.

“The coun­try as a whole has a loom­ing cri­sis of af­ford­able, suit­able hous­ing against a back­drop of age. With this change in de­mo­graphic, the need has be­come more ur­gent.”

It costs around $2.5- $3m, de­pend­ing on the land costs, to build a house for 12 peo­ple. A typ­i­cal mort­gage that can be sup­ported by one house is

$500,000. The av­er­age allinclu­sive rent for res­i­dents is around $367/week which in­cludes all meals, elec­tric­ity, heat­ing, main­te­nance, lo­cal tele­phone and gar­den­ing. Res­i­dents are el­i­gi­ble for the Liv­ing Alone al­lowance and may qual­ify for the Ac­com­mo­da­tion Sup­ple­ment.

Mrs Jenk­ins said Abbey­field is mak­ing a case for ac­cess to cost-neu­tral cap­i­tal fund­ing from cen­tral gov­ern­ment to cover half or more of the costs of con­struc­tion of an ad­di­tional 17 houses. Ac­cess to suit­able land on pep­per­corn terms was also key to achiev­ing growth. She said it was es­ti­mated that each house build saves DHBs up to

$4.5m in resthome sub­si­dies over a 50-year house life­time, due to de­layed en­try to res­i­den­tial care.

Mayor Garry Web­ber said Coun­cil is pre­pared to sup­port this type of sup­ported rental hous­ing. Coun­cil has pock­ets of land avail­able at mar­ket rates how­ever the group needs to put to­gether a busi­ness case and bring it to coun­cil “The build­ing and the fa­cil­ity would have to be sus­tain­able.”

He said in his eight years in Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment he has seen a change in peo­ple’s hous­ing needs. “Many are mov­ing away from a four-bed­room home to vil­lage-style liv­ing and apart­ments.”

Coun­cil adopted its Hous­ing Ac­tion Plan on Oc­to­ber 18, which in­cludes two ac­tions that re­late to as­sisted rentals.

Coun­cil’s se­nior pol­icy an­a­lyst Jodie Rickard said Coun­cil is cur­rently re­view­ing what land might be avail­able and what op­tions there are for de­vel­op­ment.

Coun­cil Of­fi­cers have told the Abbey­field Katikati steer­ing group that they have not iden­ti­fied suit­able land at this time.

More peo­ple are wel­come to be­come in­volved and sup­port this project. Con­tact Pauline on 549-2449.

Abbey­field NZ ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Su­san Jenk­ins with Katikati steer­ing group mem­bers Pauline van Ri­jen and Ineke Ri­ley, dis­cuss progress on build­ing an Abbey­field rental home for older res­i­dents here.

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