Benetas will soon begin refurbishing ageing independent living units located within the St Laurence Court Retirement Village in California Gully.
The existing units, built around 1960, will be converted into 38 two-bedroom units to be used as affordable housing for people aged 55 and older. Residents will also have access to communal facilities within the site.
The refurbishment will include a complete internal and external makeover with new walls, ceilings, flooring, a new kitchen, bathroom, laundry and wardrobes.
The units will also focus on energy efficiency and include appliances that not only improve environmental sustainability but also reduce utility costs.
Benetas will manage the selection of residents who will participate in an interview before being approved. Older single women – the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians – will be prioritised during this process with the first residents expected to move in by the end of 2024.
Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM said the new retirement community would meet the rising demand for affordable housing across Victoria, particularly in regional areas.
Ms Hills said seniors without the means to enter the housing and rental markets would be the community’s target demographic.
“Benetas is extremely proud of this refurbishment and what it will do to address housing shortages for older people in and around Bendigo,” Ms Hills said.
“We will work with the local community during the refurbishment and selection process before residents begin moving into the units later this year.”
The refurbished units will include new power and lighting, reverse cycle heating and cooling and a new environmental heat pump hot water system.
Externally, they will feature new double glazed windows, doors, replacement of existing timber cladding and painted timber work. A private secure rear yard will also be provided.
The adjoining Benetas Eaglehawk residential aged care home will be subject to minor impacts during the refurbishment works, which will be planned and coordinated to minimise disruption.
Benetas also operates retirement villages in Roxburgh Park (Bridgewater Lake), Mooroolbark (St John’s Rise) and Traralgon (Dalkeith Heights).