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Call for NT to look at new housing solutions ‘chototel’ style

19 Sep 2017

The pilot Chototel project, located in Nagothane, India. Photo by: Chototel

With the review for the NT Pensioners Carers Concessions Scheme (NTPCCS) now completed, and with COTA NT’s joint petition, which was given to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly for tabling, one would hope that it shouldn’t be much longer for the results of the review to be made public.  Fingers crossed that the Gunner Government has listened to the voice of Territorians and that as a result our Seniors will not lose their hard fought concessions.

COTA NT has noticed that the NT government is also doing a consultancy/market analysis of Seniors Lifestyle Accommodation in the Northern Territory.  I read with interest this week that a joint venture in Melbourne is going to be based on the accommodation concept called “Chototel”, which was started in India.

With some 330 million urban households worldwide that can’t access affordable and secure accommodation, and with these gaps in affordable housing forecast to grow by more than 30 percent to 1.16 billion people by 2025, it is imperative that Australia, and indeed the Territory look at different avenues to provide housing, especially for seniors.

The “Chototel” concept is more of a “hotel”, where rooms go for as low as $2 per night and surge up to $5 based on market demand, and can be shared by up to four people per room.  Customers, who can stay at the hotel for as long as they like, will be charged for electricity, water and gas on a consumption basis, using tech solutions to monitor how much each room is using.  How can this be done so cheaply?  From construction to operations, the use of technology features prominently in the CHototel model.  The “hotel”, which is comprised of four buildings with 60 rooms each, is built with light steel frame technology.  Insulation plays a major role as does alternative energy, with features such as water recycling.  Rooms in the “Chototel” hotel cost $10,000 to build, but maybe in Darwin it would be extra.

This type of accommodation would also go a long way in assisting our itinerants as well, after all the publicity recently this is a problem that can’t be swept under the carpet and ignored any longer.  It is time to think outside the square and maybe, just maybe the above mentioned concept is worth investigating.

Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT

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