Dannevirke pensioner flats progressing steadily

Six new pensioner flats are being built close to the Dannevirke town centre on Swinburn Street, next to the Aften Court pensioner flats. The exterior works have almost been completed and the focus is now on finishing the interior works.

The units are about 50m2 and have been designed to be 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, and levers. As a first for Tararua pensioner houses, all units will include a drive-in mobility scooter shed with rolling doors.

“Accessible homes with age friendly design features enable pensioners to remain active and independent for longer. 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,” says Tararua District Council Mayor Tracey Collis.

As existing pensioner flats become vacant, Council intends to modernise these where possible, such as the refurbishment of one Ruahine Flat pensioner unit in Woodville last year and another planned for 2023. Additional new flats are planned on available Council land in Year 5 of the Long-Term Plan.

Mayor Tracey explains; “Council wishes to support an increase in available and affordable housing in the Tararua District, including pensioner housing. We are currently consulting with our communities on a draft housing strategy which will guide us how to achieve this. These consultations are part of Round 2 of our SuperConsultation which is underway now. We invite people to share ideas by coming to our Expo events, by submitting consultation forms which are in the Bush Telegraph, or by visiting our website.”

Council is currently actively involved in owning, managing, and operating 85 pensioner units including the six currently under construction in Dannevirke. The current units are located in Dannevirke (49 + 6 new), Eketāhuna (3), Pahiatua (15) and Woodville (12). Council manages these units to be self-funding and they have no impact on rates.