Stop NT housing crisis

23 May 2017

As usual with the advent of the dry season, the greater Darwin area is humming. I was fortunate to visit the Batchelor area last week where I was reminder that housing for seniors and ageing at home are two of the most important issues affecting the elderly, not just in Batchelor but Territory wide.

As an example, there are 278 seniors living in the Batchelor regions. There is a nine-year waiting list for seniors’ housing in the urban Darwin area. If a seniors living in Batchelor need to go to Royal Darwin Hospital or into the city for medical treatment, what happens? If they need to permanently relocate due to medical reasons, the cost of private rental accommodation – even if subsidised – may be prohibitive and cause severe financial distress. This is unacceptable.

Time to think outside the square for NT seniors needing housing options

If a rural senior has to sell their home to relocated into the urban area for reasons beyond their control, they might receive $200,000 for their property. However, buying into a retirement village costs roughly $500,000 and event trying to buy a small unit may leave them with negative equity. It is reaching crisis-level for many seniors and we need to think outside the square.

With the Northcrest land available, why not do a retirement-style village there? We need to get away from bricks and mortar style dwellings. A concrete slab with a de-mountable placed upon it – similar to the Lake Bennett-style homes – can suffice. They sell for between $60,000 and $100,000.

Definitely food for thought and we need to find urgent and meaningful solutions.


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