Steps Into the Future of Housing for Older People

Haumaru housing residents enjoying a barista coffee during the first anniversary celebrations at their village. (Photo: Selwyn Foundation)

Haumaru Housing Celebrates First Year of Operation

Haumaru Housing is a partnership between Auckland Council and The Selwyn Foundation operating 62 villages across Auckland with more than 1400 units for older people. It is a not-for-profit NGO that retains all earnings to invest in the people and properties to the benefit of the local neighbourhoods.

Haumaru CEO Gabby Clezy says there are more developments in the pipeline. They aim to provide “safe, secure and affordable long-term tenancies for older Aucklanders who are vulnerable and in need” and “create positive and inclusive communities that support resilience, connectivity and enhanced wellbeing.”

The future for housing for older people will need to include a greater amount of affordable rental accommodation such as that provided by Haumaru. Auckland Council is among the dozens of local authorities around the country that still own housing units largely for older people. More than 10,000 such units are operated but councils struggle to maintain them or invest in upgrading them.

Faith-based NGOs are major providers of affordable rental housing for older people and meeting future needs in this area will require central and local government to actively seek out partnerships with the churches social services to better meet future needs. With the right balance of funding and commitment to supporting creating community, this can help create better futures for the growing number of seniors with low incomes and few assets.