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Potential option for the Palmer Street pensioner housing complex
Council is considering selling the Palmer Street complex to community housing provider, Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity currently owns and operates Freeman Court which is a supported independent living complex next to the Palmer Street units.
If the sale proceeded, the money received from the sale would be put back into pensioner housing in the District and specific plans developed for building more pensioner housing units in and around Te Awamutu. This is a fantastic opportunity for tenants of the Palmer Street complex.
Frequently asked questions
How is the sale an opportunity for tenants?
The potential sale offers some great opportunities for tenants.
- Tenants can choose to stay in their unit at no greater rent than Council would charge
- If the tenant wants to move, they would be offered a priority place at any of Council’s other pensioner housing units, including the brand new units to be built in and around Te Awamutu from the proceeds of the sale.
- If a tenant chooses to stay, they would have access to a range of services including meals and activities council cannot provide.
- Habitat for Humanity would improve the standard of the current units.
Why is Council considering selling the Palmer Street complex?
Council is considering selling the Palmer Street complex due to the benefits this offers the tenants. It is also being considered as it means Council will be able to build more pensioner housing units and therefore help more people throughout the district.
Who is Habitat for Humanity?
Habitat for Humanity is an organisation solely committed to providing affordable housing for communities. They are widely regarded across the country and can offer tenants a great service.
Why is Habitat for Humanity interested in purchasing the Palmer Street complex?
Habitat for Humanity currently own Freeman Court which is a complex that provides services to support independent living for older people. Freeman Court is right next door to the Palmer Street complex. Habitat for Humanity is committed to providing affordable housing and sees the Palmer Street complex as a great opportunity for them to expand their complex.
Does Habitat for Humanity have plans to improve the site and the units?
Yes. Habitat for Humanity takes pride in the services they offer and would upgrade the site and units to bring them in line with their current standards. Habitat for Humanity is more equipped to be able to upgrade the units as they have access to funding that Council doesn’t.
Why is Council looking to build more pensioner housing units?
Waipa District Council is committed to providing pensioner housing in the district. By selling Palmer Street to Habitat for Humanity, it will mean more housing in the district can be built – which means we can provide more homes. This is particularly important as our district is facing an aging population. This is one way we can meet the demand for pensioner housing in our district.
Why is Council not putting the Palmer Street complex sale out to market?
Discussions have been in place with Habitat for Humanity rather than going out to open market as Habitat for Humanity already own the Freeman Court complex which is directly next to the Palmer Street complex which provides the opportunity for a well-integrated village concept.
How much would the complex sell for?
If Council decides to sell, then the complex will be sold at current market value at the time of sale. This is estimated to be around $1.7 - $1.9 million.
What will the money gained from the sale be used for?
The money made from the sale will go into building new pensioner housing units. This will be additional to the money already included in Council’s 10-Year Plan. Pensioner housing is a self-funded activity. This means no rates money goes into pensioner housing and money made from the sale is ring-fenced for pensioner housing.
Is Waipa District Council intending to sell other complexes?
What if Habitat for Humanity on-sell to someone else?
This is not anticipated however, a condition will be put into any sale agreement providing Council with first right to re-purchase the complex should Habitat For Humanity wish to sell for any reason.
Has a final decision been made?
No not at all. We are in very early stages of the process and first up, our priority is to talk to tenants and their support people.
The sale will be discussed formally at a meeting in Council Chambers on 16 December. If a decision is made in principle to continue with the sale, we will formally consult with tenants and the wider community in March 2017. A final decision will be made in June 2017.
Can I attend the Council meeting?
Yes anyone can attend the Council meeting on 16 December if you wish. The meeting will take place at Council Chambers, 101 Bank Street, Te Awamutu. The time of the meeting will be shared closer to the date.
What pensioner housing service does Council currently provide?
Council owns 127 Pensioner units, located in eight complexes within the urban centres of Kihikihi, Cambridge and Te Awamutu.
Council has a policy on pensioner housing. The intent of this policy is to provide a good standard of long-term accommodation for elderly people with limited incomes, and for people with physical or mental needs on limited incomes.
Is Council planning on continuing pensioner housing?
Council is absolutely committed to providing pensioner housing in the future. In fact, we see the need to build more pensioner units and, at the very least, we will need to keep upgrading and maintaining the ones we already own. Council is currently looking at options to make all of this possible.
How can I have my say about this?
If you would like to give Council your feedback or if you have any concerns then please get in touch with Sharon Rufer on 027 442 7366 or by email.