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Summerset Offers Homes To Quake-Hit

13 May 2011
Summerset Offers Homes To Quake-Hit Retirement Village Residents

Summerset Group has made an offer through the Retirement Villages Association for residents in Christchurch’s Kate Sheppard to move to one of its villages.

The devastating unprecedented disaster in Christchurch led to the Kate Sheppard Retirement Village being destroyed, leaving residents homeless.

Summerset CEO Norah Barlow said Summerset has worked to offer an affordable way for Kate Sheppard residents to find a new home, albeit out of Christchurch

“We believe our offer will be a solution for them and the best offer out there. We want Kate Sheppard residents to be able to find a new home as quickly and easily as possible. This is a moral issue, not a commercial one,” Mrs Barlow said.

Summerset is offering a move now, pay later option at five of its twelve villages. There is also an option to be waitlisted to move into new villages, including Dunedin, once they have been built.

As a deposit Summerset is asking for an “honesty payment” which could be as little as $5 – whatever a resident can afford. Final payment is not expected until insurance has been settled and an interest-free loan will be offered for any shortfall.

“We have also revamped our own policy in wake of the Christchurch disaster and made changes ahead of any recommendations by government or changes to the code of practise,” Mrs Barlow said.

“Any resident who lives at Summerset now or chooses to move to a Summerset village can be assured they will never be in this position that has faced the residents at Kate Sheppard.”

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Summerset supports the Retirements Village Association’s move to review the Code of Practise followed by all association members to cover such events and will be working with the RVA and the Government to find a solution.

Under the new policy, Summerset would immediately re-house residents at no extra cost to them after a natural disaster.

It would then rebuild any affected village at no cost to the resident. If in the event a village is unable to be rebuilt on the same site or one in reasonable proximity, Summerset would pay residents the original purchase price in full with no deductions, or the proceeds from their insurance policy, whichever is greater.

“We never want to be in the position where a 90-year-old has lost their home and is forced to start from scratch.

It is our belief we have a responsibility to our residents that they will never be left without a home in the event of a disaster.
I believe each and every retirement village in New Zealand should be prepared to face a situation like the disaster at Kate Sheppard and have a solid plan outlining the care of their residents.” Said Mrs Barlow

About Summerset
Summerset has grown in to one of the country’s top suppliers of quality and affordable retirement living.
In 2010 it was named best retirement village operator in both New Zealand and Australia beating over 1,100 at the Australasian Over-50s Housing Awards.
The group offers a range of lifestyle options and aged-care facilities and services to more than 1,700 residents with a staff of over 450.
Summerset is the third largest operator and second largest developer in the industry, owning and operating 12 retirement villages. They are now in Aotea, Hastings, Havelock North, Levin, Manukau, Napier, Palmerston North, Paraparaumu, Taupo, Trentham, Wanganui, and Warkworth. The company is currently developing three existing sites, has two new villages in process and land for two more.

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