A city councillor has said it is the perfect time for the Invercargill City Council to develop state-of-the-art retirement accommodation.
The accommodation would provide a step between council-owned flats for those who needed low-cost retirement options.
At the council's community services committee meeting on Monday Cr Peter Kett said with the council's social housing occupancy at 100 per cent, it should be looking at other opportunities in social housing.
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/FAIRFAX NZ
Invercargill city councillor Peter Kett.
People living on their own, if a partner had passed away, often had homes they could not maintain anymore, he said.
* Demand for Invercargill social housing
* Most southern council flats meet new insulation requirements
* Council chief executive tells resident 'buy a new mower'
However, many people often did not have enough money to go to a rest home, Kett said.
Kett believed the council could build a retirement village, without a large cost to ratepayers, by developing land it already owned on Elles Rd.
Council could build "state-of-the-art council units", he said.
Kett had been talking with people from Abbeyfield, a charity which provided affordable housing in eight locations in New Zealand.
The next step would be to set up a group to take the idea further.
"I've got time on my side now to put effort in to it," Kett said.
The council owns 215 units, of which 180 were one-bedroom.
Community services chairman Lindsay Abbott said he did not discourage the idea and it would be a good thing to look into.
Abbott asked that Kett table a formal report at the next meeting.
Cr Lloyd Esler said he supported Kett's concern for the elderly.
Improvements to the council's social housing were necessary and he supported the idea.
Kett believed the best site for development was at the old Kew Bowl property, on the corner of Elles Rd and McQuarrie St.
Speaking after the meeting, Kett said the time was right for council to act on the land's development.
"Whatever I do in life, I think it's about timing.
"I am really excited about it."
Kett said the property on Elles Rd used to be a cycle track.
A small number of businesses had approached council to develop the land but that had not proceeded any further, Kett said.
Kett said he started exploring council-owned retirement options two years ago.
There was a demand for an option for tenants between council's existing social housing and retirement homes.
Kett was unsure if the proposed retirement development could be a charitable trust, like Abbeyfield.
As a charitable trust Abbeyfield was able to secure funding, he said.
In June, Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said the purchase of Invercargill state homes could add to the council's social housing.