I too have experienced the benefits and downfalls of living in a community during my lifetime, but have at last settled in a community of senior homeowners at the Haven Leisure Village where I now reside. I visited the property, liked what I saw and bought my forever home.
When I first settled into the Village I must admit it was a complete change to the way I had been living previously. I had been working seven days a week in a position that consisted of early starts and late nights and was very busy then moving into a home where I was now retired, could sleep in if I wanted to, read a book or garden during the day or just sit and watch TV. The days were long and I was very lonely. Then the community at the Village gradually changed my outlook and I started to ‘smell the roses’ and enjoy my contact with my fellow homeowners.
After a couple of months’ it became apparent that the homeowners were being ignored by the operators of the facility and were just accepting this as a part of their living in the Village. It was creating ‘groups’ in the Village which was not healthy for any of us. We did not know who owned the village, only contact was with the Managers.
Following some investigation, a meeting of Homeowners was called and I tabled information about the setting up a of Homeowner’s Committee which two members would liaise with Management and Homeowners for improvements, with the view of bringing everybody together and being involved in our future at the Village. We also asked to be known as Homeowners and not residents.
There have been a number of changes in the ownership of the Village, but we are now owned by a Sydney company, with the two Directors making time to visit the village during the year, making contact with homeowners and the Homeowners Committee, giving us information about the future expansion of the Village as well as asking for our input regarding ideas the homeowners have for the betterment of the village. This has made such a difference to the attitude of the homeowners who now been made to feel part of the village’s future.
A Community garden was established with brought like-minded gardeners together, growing vegetables for themselves and distributing the excess to the homeowners; Happy hour was another initiative which gave the homeowners an opportunity to get to know each other. There are so many talented people living in our Village. Little things like moving the mailboxes to a safer place, creating more ‘green areas’ in the Village, fencing off the Caravan Park from the Village, erecting more signage have all been taken on board by the Directors and are now in place in the village. A small craft group is in the Village; a ‘games’ afternoon is held each week. Homeowners now take an interest in their future at the village.
Having Owners who have made themselves available via Email or personal contact, who know us by name and take an interest in our pets and what we do has made such a difference to our community, and we all appreciate what a wonderful Village we live in.