Q: Who owns Blue Haven Retirement Village?
A: Blue Haven Village is fully owned by Kiama Council, who has operated the Village and the adjoining Aged Care Facility since 1979. This ensures professional ongoing management of the Village. Residents therefore have the confidence of residing in a Village operated by a public authority.
Q: How are decisions made concerning the operation of the Village?
A: The Blue Haven Committee consists of a number of citizen representatives and elected Councillors which meets quarterly. Representatives of the Blue Haven Residents Committee may also attend these meetings in order to assist in the flow of information. These meetings are open to the public.
Q: Is Blue Haven a “three tiered” Retirement Village?
A: Yes. The Blue Haven Aged Care Facility consists of a 52 bed Nursing Home and 30 Hostel Units. The Retirement Village consists of 203 Independent Living Units, including the recently completes Stage 5. Blue Haven Village is the only three-tiered Retirement Village in the Kiama township and is the only Retirement Village which is owned and operated by Kiama Council.
Q: What happens if I need to move from the Retirement Village (Independent Living Units) to the Aged Care Facility?
A: Blue Haven recognises the importance of being close to your spouse should they require either respite, or full time Hostel or Nursing Home accommodation. While every effort is made to assist those Independent Living Unit Residents who may eventually require Hostel or Nursing Home accommodation, the allocation of available places is on an assessed needs basis, with Blue Haven Residents and the broader community being treated equally.
It is also important to note that due to the advantages of Independent Living Unit accommodation over living in one’s own home (e.g. the lift and emergency call system) many residents find that they can cope in their units without the need for more institutionalised care.
Q: What happens to the money I pay for my Independent Living Unit?
A: Your money is safe with Council and controlled by the terms of the contract (loan licence agreement) between the resident and Council. The “price” of an Independent Living Unit at Blue Haven represents an interest free loan to Council, in return for which the resident receives a licence to occupy the Unit.
There are presently two options available to residents at Blue Haven:-
Option 1 (Available on units in Stages 1 to 4 only)
• Payment of seventy percent of the Option 2 price and no refund after 11 months.
This option represents the payment of 70% of the normal loan amount required for a particular unit. The amount paid is then amortised completely over a period of 11 months on a daily pro-rata basis. In return, the resident(s) retains the right to live in the unit for as long as they are able to care for themselves in the self-care environment.
Option 2 (Applies to all units, ie Stages 1 to 5 and all garages/ car spaces)
• 6% per annum reduction for the first 5 years, capped at 30%.
This option has always been available at Blue Haven and provides for the resident to pay an interest free loan to Council. The attached price list shows the Option 2 price, as this is the option selected by the majority of people. When the unit is no longer required, the outgoing resident (or their estate) receive the original amount paid, less 6% of this amount for each year of occupation (calculated on a daily pro-rata basis). (This 6% per annum reduction is known as “amortisation”, the maximum amount of which is 30%, which would occur after 5 years of occupation.)
When the unit is no longer required, a new occupant is found by Council and the balance of loan monies due is refunded within 14 days. Should a new occupant not be found after the expiration of 6 months, the Council undertakes to still refund the full amount due at the end of this 6 month period.
Funds generated by the amortisation of resident’s loans and capital appreciation realised on the resale of Units are separately accounted for by Council and used for the long term capital maintenance of the Village.
It is also important to note that many potential residents, whilst being able to afford a Unit at Blue Haven may not be in a financial situation to make an up front contribution to the cost of providing infra-structure (eg lifts, gardens and communal buildings). This necessary infrastructure is therefore financed as indicated above from the amortisation and the retention of any capital appreciation.
Council has adopted this strategy in order to ensure that Blue Haven Units are affordable to the general community while ensuring that the Village is maintained at the highest possible standard.
Summary of Options
Option 1 Available on Stages 1 to 4 only and provides for payment of 70% of the normal cost of entry and no refund after 11 months.
Option 2 Available on all independent living units and garages and provides for the amount refundable, being reduced by 6% for each year of occupancy on a daily pro-rata basis (maximum 30% reduction at 5 years).
Q: Are Unit Prices Negotiable?
A: Whilst the prices of Independent Living Units are not negotiable, Option 1 (described above) provides a means whereby certain units may be accessed at a reduced price.
Q: How are weekly maintenance levies calculated and what do they include?
A: Unlike a Strata-Unit, there are no individual Council or water rates payable by the resident. Rates and charges, electricity and maintenance of the grounds and inclusions in resident’s units are all covered by the one low weekly maintenance levy. Individual residents only pay their own contents insurance (of their privately owned furniture), individual electricity and telephone.
Maintenance levies are only varied having regard to the actual costs associated with the operation of the Retirement Village (Independent Living Units). There is no cross subsidisation between any of the three tiers of the Retirement Village or any other aspect of Council’s operations.
Prior to the setting of maintenance levies for the next twelve month period, a proposed budget is placed before a meeting of all residents. The budget, once approved by the residents, together with any recommendations as to increases in maintenance levies, is then placed before the Blue Haven Board and Council for final approval. The Current Weekly maintenance levies are shown below in the printable version of this FAQ.
Q: Are lock-up garages/car spaces included in the cost of the Unit?
A: As many residents move to Blue Haven because they no longer drive, there has been no requirement to build the same number of garages/car spaces as Units. Plenty of lock-up garages & secure under cover car spaces are available however, including some with remote controlled doors and these are subject to the same loan licence conditions as Independent Living Units. Garage prices range between $7,500 and $15,000. Stage 5 car spaces are $5,000.
Q: What services are available to Residents of the Independent Living Units at Blue Haven?
The full range of Home And Community Care (HACC) services, (provided by Kiama Council) are available to Independent Living Unit residents, including Home Nursing, Meals on Wheels and Community Transport (subject to the availability of places).
In a medical emergency, Village Residents firstly dial “000”. After they have called the ambulance (or if they are unable to use the phone), they activate the “Vitalcall” emergency call system, which consists of a radio operated pendant in each Unit. This call registers with the Resident Caretakers who are then able to assist the ambulance staff in locating the Resident. This system operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
The Village Centre is the focal point for the many social activities enjoyed by residents. These include carpet bowls, crafts, games (especially cards), “Melbourne Cup Lunches” and the like. Residents are also free to enjoy the Village Centre with visiting friends and relatives.
Q: What is the role of the Resident Caretakers?
- 24 hour monitoring of the emergency call system
- Assisting ambulance officers to access Residents’ units
- Maintenance of lawns and garden areas
- Day to day maintenance of buildings
Can I have guests stay in my Independent Living Unit?
Most certainly, it is your home. Permission is however required for stays in excess of 4 weeks.
Within what price range are units available at Blue Haven?
Option two prices of Independent Living Units across stages 1 to 5 are attached. These prices are reviewed annually (from the first of January each year).
Q: Are there any additional charges payable upon entry or at departure?
A; There are no additional charges payable upon entry or at departure. The loan licence agreement is also exempt from stamp duty.
Q: When is Blue Haven open for Inspection?
A: Providing the privacy of Residents is respected, visitors are welcome to inspect all common areas within Blue Haven during normal office hours. The allocations office (enter via 55 Thomson St) is usually open during these hours, however its necessary to arrange an appointment by phoning (02) 4233 1714 first, to ensure you receive our full attention.
Q: Does Blue Haven have a waiting list for previously occupied units ?
A: The following waiting list policy applies to all previously occupied units:
Any person (with a disability or over the age of 55 ) may lodge a fully refundable deposit of $200 in order to be placed on the waiting list for currently occupied Independent Living Units at Blue Haven.
At the time of lodging the deposit, in addition to signing a Deposit Agreement, the person will provide a list “suitable units”, being units that they wish to occupy should they become vacant.
Council will provide images of the views from the balconies of all units at Blue Haven on the website: www.bluehavencare.com.au in order to assist in the selection of suitable units.
The person may amend their unit selection once every 365 days, however their relative ranking in respect of subsequently added units will be based upon the date at which they are added, not the date upon which the initial deposit was paid.
The reallocation of vacated units will be made on the basis of each person’s relative date of deposit (or additional units as per point 3).
Should a nominated “suitable unit” become vacant, the depositor with the highest ranking for that unit will be allocated that unit for a period of three months from the date of completion of any renovations and will be required at the time of allocation to increase their total deposit to $10,000.
After the expiration of the initial 3 month holding period, Council will continue to hold the nominated unit for the depositor, however should another person be able to settle immediately on the nominated unit, the original depositor’s $10,000 deposit will be refunded. An extension of up to six weeks will however be granted where the original depositor has provided evidence of an exchange of contracts on the sale of their home, prior to the expiration of the initial 3 month holding period.
Should the depositor choose to not accept the offered unit, their relative ranking for each of their nominated “suitable units” will fall to the bottom of the list.
Where a person on the waiting list chooses to not accept the offer of a unit three times, their deposit shall be refunded. That person is however entitled to request to be placed on the waiting list after waiting three months from the date the refund is made.
All deposits will be refunded in full within 14 days from the receipt of a written request, addressed to the General Manager, PO Box 75 Kiama NSW 2533.
Final unit allocation will be subject to Council’s standard entry assessment process.
All depositors will be advised whenever there is a change in unit prices.
Previously occupied units for which a preference has not already been expressed in accordance with this policy, will be allocated on a “first come first served” basis.
This policy may be amended from time to time at the discretion of Council.
Is it possible to change units once you have taken up residency?
It is not possible to change between Independent Living Units, once you have commenced living at Blue Haven Village.
Please also note that:
Council reserves the right to vary or discontinue Options 1 & 2 at any time (this would not affect existing residents).
Effective from 1/1/2012, only existing residents & those who have placed their name on the waiting list as at that date, will be able to smoke within the Village (excluding common rooms). New residents from 1/1/2012 (excluding those on the waiting list at that date) will not be permitted, under the Village Rules, to smoke in their unit, or in any other part of the land or buildings occupied by the Retirement Village. This rule also applies to visitors & guests.
The allocation of a unit is subject to a professional assessment of the potential resident’s ability to live independently & uses information obtained via a form completed by the person’s Doctor. This assessment is undertaken by Council Staff, immediately prior to a specific unit being offered.
Loan amounts and maintenance levies are subject to regular review by Council. Any figures provided are an indication only and are subject to confirmation prior to settlement.
This document should be read in conjunction with the following documents that must, under the Retirement Villages Act, be provided to you prior to acquiring a unit:
Blue Haven Retirement Village Disclosure Statement & General Enquiries Documents.
Updated July 2015
For further information please phone Steve Dawson on (02) 42 331 714