Guest Post – Elderly Housing Issues

Following up on the article ?pimping the poor elderly with housing issues?, I would like to add to the discussion, as a person of the generation being written about.

In one way I agree that it is the individual?s problem if they don?t have a house after tens of years having it so easy.? But not all of us had a life in the basket of plenty.? Things go wrong and we cannot guarantee that all our risk management plans work!? But there are also some ways to improve the situation that do not require Government intervention.

Some examples:? I had cancer for more than twenty years and was unable to work.? The benefit was not enough to be able to save on, and I had lost my husband very early in my illness.? However when a friend was having trouble selling her house she offered it to me, and suggested that one of my pictures could be used as a deposit.? I had a huge amount of trouble getting a mortgage as I ?didn?t have a man behind me? (1989), but eventually one banker was prepared to be innovative, and gave me the loan.

This demonstrates that all was not well for my generation of women ? we could not get mortgages, even if we had good jobs as I did in 1989.

I was then able to ride the property wave, and do now own my own house.? But it took the generosity of a friend to get started. ?

I decided that helping others into property was a form of philanthropy I could indulge in without having to shell out heaps of money, but backed friends who needed help.? So in a variety of ways I have helped more than seven people into their own home, and I know that later on at least two of them have done the same to others.? In one case, the person I helped later helped another person, who then helped someone else.? Wonderful.

A group of people who may be cut out of the market are those that (behind closed doors) we call victims of STD.? Not Sexually Transmitted Disease, but Sexually Transmitted Debt.? These are people, male or female, who have their assets stripped by their partner, either by divorce and taking ?their share? or where a partner has fraudulently signed financial documents which purport to be from their opposite number.? This is surprisingly common, and very few victims report this to the police.? If this happens to people in middle age or more it is very hard to recoup the losses.

I currently have a friend who has had some very bad luck in her life, resulting in her losing everything, staying with me at present.? Like many elderly she visits her children regularly, and only needs a home about six months a year.? When she is away she doesn?t pay board and I can use her room for guests.? So we share costs, but also can get away from each other when we need to.?? Her children are earning good money, and when they have finished building their own houses and paying of some of the extra costs that creates they are going to share the cost of a house for their mother.

So don?t condemn those who have had bad luck, illness or are victims of crime.? But do look at innovative solutions to help them that do not require government intervention.? I have never been let down by those I have helped, because I helped those I trusted.? And they have helped others.? But do take care to cross the Is +Ts as you don?t need to lose a friend as well as money.

Be innovative and find solutions that meet the needs of your small community.

Frances Denz MNZM

Frances has been instrumental in?helping entrrpeneurs establish?more than 4000 businesses since 1986. She is an authority on business start-ups and regional economic development and is a keynote speaker at conferences internationally. Frances is the co-founder of Stellaris Ltd and specialises in the small business and government sectors.
In 2013 Frances was honoured by the Queen with?Membership of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM) for services to business.

As a Maori woman of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Tainui descent, Frances has worked with many Maori organisations to establish expertise in self-employment. Frances has special interests in the health and horticulture industries.?
She was? the founding chair of the Womens Loan Fund.

Frances is the author of?Hope and Rehabilitation,?Able to do Business?and?Women at the Top. She is passionate about encouraging small businesses to establish good governance and management in order to develop into very successful businesses.