11 June 2019
Waipa District Council is to build 10 new pensioner housing units in Cambridge.
Pending appropriate consents, and a successful tender outcome, the one-bedroom units will be built on the corner of Thompson St and Shakespeare St in Leamington. They will be next to the Council's existing Vaile Court complex which already includes 16 separate dwellings, housing 18 pensioners.
Funding for the new units was signalled last year in Council's 10-Year Plan. Council also plans to build new pensioner housing units in Te Awamutu and land has already been purchased in Cambridge Road for that purpose. The Te Awamutu building programme is tentatively scheduled for 2020/21 as more work is required to meet planning rules for the site.
Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest said while Council was committed to pensioner housing, its policy made it clear that any housing must be self-funded; it cannot be subsidised by other ratepayers.
"We've made a commitment to provide pensioner housing for the growing number of elderly people in our community, but we can't use other ratepayer funds to do that – our policy makes that clear. So while we are building more units, we can only do that when there is money is available from that activity," he said.
"The fact is that there are ratepayers in our community, who are in the same financial situation as our pensioner housing tenants, and we cannot favour one group of people over another."
Council will call for tenders for the new pensioner units in Cambridge within the next couple of months with the units likely to be ready for occupation in the second half of 2020.
There are currently 40 people on the waiting list for a place in one of Waipā's pensioner housing complexes across the district.