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Housing for older Aucklanders to be redeveloped

Published: 25 August 2016
Selwyn Centre.

Auckland Council’s portfolio of homes for older Aucklanders has received a major boost with today’s approval to redevelop the villages and partner with The Selwyn Foundation.

Many of the 1452* rental units across 63 villages are rundown and poorly located for amenities such as public transport. The city’s urban development agency Panuku Development Auckland will ensure the new homes address the needs of older people both in location and quality.

The existing number of rental units will be maintained with the potential to develop more over time.

Partnering with The Selwyn Foundation 

In December 2015 following a contestable process, council approved The Selwyn Foundation as the preferred partner to deliver services to older people in Auckland. Panuku and council began working with Selwyn to establish a joint venture company as the business model for the partnership.

The Selwyn Foundation is a New Zealand charitable trust with a long history of providing quality retirement accommodation and care around the country. The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Garry Smith says: 

“Through this new joint venture company, we aim to provide outstanding housing for older Aucklanders – to create safe, age-friendly neighbourhoods, where houses are homes, streets are communities, and tenants are well served and content where they live and with the services they receive." 

Added spin-off for home buyers

Panuku Strategy and Engagement Director David Rankin says the redevelopment of the villages has an added spin-off for Aucklanders looking to buy their own home.

“We will not only ensure the new homes are fit-for-purpose for our older people but the redevelopment will also enable approximately double the total number of houses on the sites.

“The other houses will be developed by community housing providers and the private sector, and will include a mix of affordable and market-priced homes – all adding to Auckland’s housing supply.”

Rankin says Panuku will make better use of some sites, while others that are not fit-for-purpose will be sold to free up funds for reinvestment in the redevelopment of the villages.

Next steps 

A tenants’ reference group and a mana whenua advisory group have been set up to ensure the views of those living in the homes, including the needs of Māori, are incorporated in the development plans.

The joint venture company is expected to be established by March 2017, with the operations of the villages transitioning to the new partnership over the next six months.

*The total of 1452 includes 1412 existing units and 40 that are committed to being built in Wilsher Village in Henderson. Most units are in the south (686), followed by the north (458) and the west (308). Devonport-Takapuna has the largest concentration with 274 units.