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Flatting project opens in Northcote

KATASHA MCCULLOUGH
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2014
Robyn Barry
THRILLED: Bays Community Housing Trust’s Robyn Barry in the newly opened house for elderly women in Northcote.

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Flatting for the elderly has arrived in Northcote.

The Bays Community Housing Trust (BCHT) has officially opened a five-bedroom house in Tonar St for single women over 65 who do not own their own property and have limited assets.

Trustee Robyn Barry is running the project and says it has been a big team effort.

The flat will not only be affordable for the elderly but also combat loneliness.

Age Concern executive officer Janferie Bryce-Chapman says the house is a really good model, particularly because it targets women.

Divorcees and widows often do not have the resources to live independently, she says.

"It's very disempowering for them, they don't have a voice."

BCHT provides affordable housing on the North Shore for people in social or economic need, particularly mental health patients.

It owns 18 properties and manages 12 which belong to Housing New Zealand.

Chairman Gordon Duncan says the elderly are emerging as the new vulnerable and poor in society.

"The ability to address that by going out and getting work is limited for older people."

He says the flatting for seniors is a new concept in New Zealand.

"It's a house that we want people to come and live in for a long time. And live together and enjoy living together."

The rent will be about $220 a week, including power, water, internet and phone.

A relationship manager will visit regularly to make sure everyone's needs are being met.

BCHT has started building another house on the property next door and hopes to offer a similar option for men who are struggling to find affordable housing.

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- North Shore Times

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