The conversations of life

Ageing retirement villages need redevelopment – or ‘baby boomers’ will miss out


This issue was highlighted for us this week by a court case brought by a not-for-profit operator The Vasey Housing Association N.S.W against two residents at its ‘Parkview’ village at Waitara after a two-year stand-off.

One of the Waitara units
One of the Waitara units

Vasey wants to redevelop the 55-unit village into a 12-storey, 117-unit vertical village that will provide affordable housing for up to 200 seniors.

The two men have refused the offer to be relocated free of charge to one of Vasey’s four other villages. They say they want to stay in the village they bought into.

But check out the pictures above and inset. The village is 54 years old – and it looks its age.

A new generation of village residents

No ‘baby boomer’ is going to choose to downsize to a village without the modern conveniences we’ve come to expect. Operators need to be able to redevelop to cater to this growing market.

The average village is now 24 years old according to the Property Council. Many are reaching the stage when they will need to be overhauled.

If the court finds against Vasey, the units will likely need to be sold for residential development – at residential market prices. It could also threaten their viability as an affordable housing provider.

As we reported here, not all of us are going to reach retirement with enough in the bank to be able to live comfortably.

The fact is we need affordable housing developments like this. Where will we all live otherwise?

Chris Baynes is a columnist and publisher of Frank & Earnest. He is also the publisher of, the leading national directory of retirement villages and aged care services in Australia.

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