Accessible and age-friendly housing design for pensioners in Dannevirke

Council is well underway with the construction of six pensioner flats on Swinburn Street in Dannevirke. The six flats will be safe, affordable, warm, and age-friendly for retirees.

They will all have accessible housing design features such as ramps, hand-rails and wet floor showers. More age-friendly attributes include wider doors, grab handles, levers and all units will include a drive-in mobility scooter shed with rolling doors, a first for Tararua pensioner houses. Accessible homes with age friendly design features enable pensioners to remain active and independent for longer. It helps to delay or put off moves to specialist housing such as care homes and can decrease the overall cost on health and social care for individuals.

The pensioner flats are expected to be available in a ready-to-use condition in 2022. The construction of the houses is being undertaken by local contractors Creative Homes.

Council is currently actively involved in owning, managing, and operating 85 pensioner units including the six currently under construction in Dannevirke. The units are located in Dannevirke (49), Eketāhuna (3), Pahiatua (15) and Woodville (12). Council manages these units to be self-funding and they have no impact on rates.

As existing pensioner flats become vacant, Council intends to modernise these where possible, such as the recently completed refurbishment of two Ruahine Flats pensioner units in Woodville. Additional new flats are planned for Pahiatua on available Council land in Year 5 of the Long-Term Plan.

“Council is doing what it can to widen housing options for elderly people. These six new pensioner flats are only a modest contribution, but a significant investment for us. We are currently working to finalise a housing strategy which will tie well into the Government's plans to increase public housing, including pensioner housing”, says Mayor Tracey Collis.