Te Anau housing project begins

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An artist's impression of the Murchison Villas. Image: Supplied

TE ANAU residents who saw a need for more affordable retirement housing in their area are about to have their vision of a 23-unit village development realised.

The first stage of the Murchison Villas housing project begins this month with 10 of the 23 units being built on a 7000sqm plot off Pop Andrew Dr.

The project is down to the vision of a group of local residents who formed the Fiordland Retirement Housing Trust about two years ago when the land, set aside for the purpose of retirement housing 20 years ago, had still not been bought by any commercial developers.

Project adviser David Boniface said the units were already being marketed from the plans and the take-up was encouraging. Te Anau residents had been given first option.

Trust member Owen Buckingham said construction would proceed when unconditional buyers had been secured for a minimum of six of the units.

“We’re well on track for that.”

The development had the edge over other providers of retirement village housing because buyers would own their property 100% freehold and a body corporate would maintain the site on behalf of the not-for-profit trust, he said.

The first 10 villa units were two or three-bedroom homes and all came with garages, whiteware and floor coverings.

“This is going to enrich our community and allow people to live in a village situation without leaving Te Anau – a lot of elderly have had to leave because of the lack of affordable retirement housing here,” Mr Buckingham said.

Mr Boniface said the units had been designed with the elderly in mind, with wider hallways and easily accessed showers.

Residents must be 60 years old or older, with some exceptions agreed by the trust’s body corporate and the Southland District Council (SDC), he said.

The level, north-facing plot, donated by the SDC, has mountain views, is adjacent to the Fiordland Medical Centre and handy to shops.

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