Ashburton District residents are being encouraged to provide feedback on the Elderly Persons Housing Draft Policy which is open for consultation from today.
The Draft Policy includes changes to the criteria determining who can live in the Council-owned elderly persons housing, new rent calculation and additional restrictions on smoking and keeping of animals in the units.
Council Commercial Manager Colin Windleborn says the changes help bring the policy in line with a number of standards and initiatives.
"Currently, there is no rent calculation in the Elderly Persons Housing Policy, and this makes it difficult for Council to clearly explain this kind of information with existing and new tenants. Council is proposing to calculate rent based on a percentage of superannuation received. For existing tenants, rent will be progressively increased over three years, starting in 2018," he says.
The proposal means existing single tenants will pay approximately 25 per cent of their superannuation towards rent, and couples will pay 20 per cent. This is in line with how the Government calculates income related rent subsidies for low-income households.
The Draft Policy also strengthens the eligibility criteria for becoming a tenant, helping to ensure those most in need are able to a secure housing. The changes take into account the superannuation age set by the Government and the minimum wage.
Tenants would also be restricted to only smoking in outside areas under the Draft Policy, which aligns with Council's endorsement of the Governments Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 initiative. The Draft Policy also proposes that dogs will not be permitted as pets in the units, and tenants wishing to have animals would need to make a written request to Council.
Consultation documents for the Elderly Persons Housing Draft Policy are available at a variety of locations around the district, including the Council Administration Building. For a full list of locations, or to provide feedback online, visit www.ashburtondc.govt.nz/haveyoursay.