Older Persons’ Housing Review moves to next stage

20 Oct 2023, 5:09 PM

Options for improving the way Kāpiti Coast District Council manages its housing portfolio for older people will be considered next, following a report back to councillors on part one of a two-stage review.

Council’s strategy, operations and finance committee today heard the key findings identified in stage one of the Older Person’s Housing Review that began in August.

Mayor Janet Holborow said the review findings reflected what councillors and council officers had been hearing from the community. The next stage of the review will look at options for an alternative operating model to improve the financial sustainability of the portfolio and support future growth, she said.

“We know there’s a growing unmet need for affordable and accessible housing for our older folk, and that the elderly are overrepresented among those in our community who need housing.

“Stage one of the review also confirms that many of the 118 single-storey one-bedroom units over ten locations in the district that are owned and managed by Council are not sufficiently accessible for people with mobility issues.

“In addition, we’ve heard that the design and types of properties in our current portfolio don’t provide the diversity and choice older people want today.

“Importantly, the current operating model of the portfolio is not financially sustainable without ongoing funding from ratepayers, so we need to look at alternatives if we want to grow our housing for older people.”

Council’s social sustainability subcommittee has been having in depth discussions around this and an asset management plan for the portfolio, including updates on the extensive work which has been going on to upgrade the units to a modern standard.

Subcommittee chair Councillor Martin Halliday welcomed the stage one report, saying the overarching aim was to improve and grow the provision of housing for older people to meet the community’s needs, not to reduce Council’s service.

“Consultation on the previous Long-term Plan in 2021 and the Housing Strategy in 2022 indicated significant community support for Council to take a bigger role in housing,” he said.

Council would continue working closely with its tenants, iwi partners, community housing providers and special interest groups as it developed options for alternative operating models that met the community’s needs, Cr Halliday said.

Any financial and resourcing implications of the review will be discussed in the stage two report, which will outline alternative options in detail. These were expected to be presented to councillors for consideration before the end of the year.

Find out more and read the report in Related Links at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/older-persons-housing-review