|Age Concern Tauranga|
Where are the suitable affordable houses for older people once they leave the large family home and don’t want, or cannot afford, to go to a retirement village?
I was very interested to read the good news that Tauranga’s social housing stocks are set to be boosted following the Government announcement. We will get five new houses within the next 18 months specifically designed for people with intellectual disabilities.
Suitable affordable accommodation is also needed for older people. We are starting to talk about Age-Friendly Cities. Housing is an important component. If developers accepted the culture of age friendliness there would be more houses that incorporate the excellent design features needed for people with disabilities – wide doorways and good access, for example, and located near facilities and transport.
The government spends money on modifying houses later to keep older people at home. Why not make more developments suitable for all ages at time of construction? The costs would be reduced because the specifications would be standard.
Our council can help with housing and other policies by applying the age friendly criteria as new proposals or policies are presented. It is just looking at things in an age friendly way. The criteria benefit all ages, but we need to act now. Approximately 18 per cent of our WBOP population is 65+, with the number over 80 predicted to grow at a rate of six per cent a year. Planning now is essential.