Olive Brown is looking forward to moving into a brand new $50 million retirement village.
The Masonic Villages Trust today announced it would be building the facility in central Wainuiomata.
That is good news for the 75 year-old, who has mobility issues and lives in unsuitable rental accommodation.
It will allow Brown to stay in Wainuiomata, near her children. She hopes that living in a purpose-built facility will also give her back her independence.
The planned village will house around 200 people in retirement villas, a rest-home, hospital beds, care suites and serviced apartments.
Wainuiomata, which has a population of 16,700, has been without rest-home facilities for many years.
Labour list MP Ginny Andersen said a retirement village was good news for the area. The 100 jobs would be welcomed and it would also stop families being split, when parents were forced to move to Lower Hutt due to the lack of facilities.
Masonic Villages Trust chief executive Warick Dunn said there would be 80 single-story villas in single, two- and three-bedroomed options. The rest home and hospital would provide beds for up to 60 residents and it would become one of the largest local employers.
The facility received resource consent last week and Dunn hoped it would open by spring 2019.
The council had been very supportive in making land available and he acknowledged the role played by the mayor.
“I am particularly grateful to Mayor Ray Wallace, who has personally championed the village ever since we first became involved.”
The trust tended to operate in areas commercial rest-home providers found uneconomic.
“We believe we perform an important social role by providing quality accommodation and care to older people with a wide range of interests, lifestyles and budgets.
“Our villages tend to be smaller than would be economic for commercial operators. This enables us to support residents of suburbs and provincial towns who wish to retire in a village where they are close to friends and family,” Dunn said.
Wainuiomata Ward Cr Campbell Barry said it was good news for local families and was an acknowledgement of the hard work put in by various community groups and individuals.
“A retirement village has long been needed in Wainuiomata. Families will now be able to stay together. I’m grateful for the advocates in the Wainuiomata community who have been pushing for this, especially groups like Greypower Wainuiomata.”
Andersen said she had first-hand experience of how hard it was for older residents who are forced to move out.
Her mother-in-law had to go to Manor Park everyday to visit her husband who was in a dementia unit there.
“She had to catch trains and buses and she gave up visiting in the end because it was all too stressful.”
* The Trust was established by the Freemasons in the 1960s to benefit the whole community. It has villages in Taranaki, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and Lower Hutt. Its most recent development was Woburn Apartments, a boutique retirement community in Lower Hutt, completed late last year.