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Need For Retirement Accommodation In Wainuiomata

from Hutt City Council

16 May 2005


A Hutt City Council survey has found considerable interest among residents for the provision of retirement housing in Wainuiomata with a majority also saying they wanted to stay in the suburb.

Kim Kelly, Hutt City Council General Manager, Strategic Development said the survey was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the housing needs of elderly in Wainiuomata and where there may be gaps in the market.

The survey revealed that 80 per cent of respondents indicated they might consider purchasing a retirement property in the future. Of these people, over 60% wanted a two bedroom property with a majority willing to pay between $75,000 and $150,000 for a retirement property.

"There is a shortage of suitable, low maintenance, two bedroom dwellings for elderly and retired people," said Kim Kelly.

"An immediate practical result of the survey was that a significant new housing development in Wainuiomata, which initially was not going to include two-bedroom properties, will now include a number of two-bedroom units."

Other findings from the survey included:

1. The majority of respondents currently live in three bedroom homes (64%) followed by 16% who live in four bedroom homes.

2. Top three issues facing residents in their neighbourhoods are: garden/section is too large (35%); graffiti/litter in the neighbourhood (26%); poor insulation (22%)

3. 68% of respondents indicated they intended to remain in Wainuiomata when they retired. There was only minor interest in moving to the Kapiti Coast, for example.

4. Primary requirements of a retirement property are affordability, security, low maintenance, accessibility to transportation and shops.

5. When asked of their future plans to remain living independently in the coming five years, 87% indicated they wanted to stay in their own home (when asked the same question in terms of 10 year, 72% wanted to stay in their own home)

Two years ago, Council started working on a strategy for the development of Wainuiomata. One of the issues was that, while the population of Wainuiomata has been decreasing over time this was not being reflected in empty houses.

"What we found was that, where once a family of 4-6 lived in a 3-4 bedroom house, there now may only be one or two people close to, or in retirement. There are no retirement facilities and a lack of small two bedroom properties with smaller sections for them to move to. If these were made available then families could move into the larger houses.

Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard and Hutt City Councillor Ray Wallace will lead a deputation of Wainuiomata residents to Parliament to meet with Hon. Ruth Dyson and discuss the survey findings with her as the Government's Minister of Senior Citizens.

Hutt City Council has been working with the Hutt Valley District Health Board and Housing NZ on the project.

The postal, self-completed survey drew 833 responses. Survey forms were posted out to all households in Wainuiomata.


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