Keeping seniors in a WA country town: Gov. support brings four rental ILUs to Wickepin with more to follow

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The town of Wickepin, around 200km southeast of Perth in WA’s Wheatbelt, will add new independent living units for seniors as part of a new project backed by State and Federal Governments, as well as Council.

The senior lifestyle village has eventuated after 20 years of planning, and will feature three-bedroom, two-bathroom units for rent by local seniors.

According to Wickepin Shire President Julie Russell (pictured), the development will allow seniors to remain in the town rather than needing to move to Perth, and will have room to potentially double this number if demand and funding permit.

“Initially there are four units there that will be available for senior people to retire in their own town. It is really important that they can, and stay with their families and just enjoy the benefits of living where they grew up and where they have spent all their lives,” she told the Narrogin Observer.

Funding for the project is being supplied by the State DPIRD Royalties for Regions Housing Project, the Federal DISER Drought Communities Programme and the Shire of Wickepin.

“We went into partnership with several other shires to apply for State Government funding. We were short some funding, then when the Drought Communities funding came up from the Federal Government, Council decided to allocate that towards the project as well, which really helped,” said Ms Russell.

The initial four units are expected to be completed by the end of 2022, with the brickwork and roofing already well underway despite delays due to COVID-19 restrictions.