Council-owned pensioner housing in South Wairarapa towns could be sold to a community housing provider.

This is one of the suggestions contained in the South Wairarapa District Council's consultation document regarding the annual plan for 2016/17, which today will go out to public consultation.

SWDC pensioner housing includes eight units at Burling Flats and six at Matthews Flats in Featherston.

Greytown has six flats at Westhaven and Martinborough has 12 flats at Cecily Martin. Rents range from $66 to $81 per unit.


At a SWDC meeting on Wednesday deputy mayor Viv Napier asked whether flat tenants could expect the rents to alter if ownership was to change hands.

The council's chief executive Paul Crimp said the pensioner housing's rents were calculated on a break-even basis.

"I can't see any logical reason why they would increase significantly by that change of ownership because they would break even, and community housing providers are not for profit."

Local authorities are not eligible for government-funded rental subsidies for its tenants, however community housing providers are.

Therefore the rent could be increased by the amount of the subsidy, which could then be used to improve the quality of housing.

There are waiting lists for each of South Wairarapa's pensioner housing units.

The council said the demand would only continue to grow and community housing providers are better equipped than they are to meet this increase in demand. The public will have until May 9 to comment.