Elvis always on the mind for elderly NPDC tenant Gladys

29 June 2018

Gladys Hopkinson doesn’t have a pair of blue suede shoes, but at home in her NPDC Housing for the Elderly flat she does put her feet up in her favourite Elvis slippers.

She’s been sharing her home with The King for more than 10 years, with Elvis memorabilia covering walls and shelves, and filling her wardrobe too.

Gladys, 81, has lived in an NPDC unit for 22 years and says it’s helped her stay independent and keep serving the community as a volunteer driver for other elderly folk.

“I’ve always loved music and there’s something about Elvis that’s just so fascinating.  After I became interested in him, friends and family started giving me things related to Elvis,” Gladys says.

NPDC has 140 units to let to elderly residents in New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara and Inglewood.

The service is entirely self-funded from rents, with no money from rates, and tenants have to prove their financial need and be 65 or over to qualify.

The number of elderly in the New Plymouth District is rising and demand for the units is high, with a waiting time of up to three years.

“All our units are well cared for and we encourage the tenants to take pride in their homes,” NPDC Chief Financial Officer Alan Bird says.

“NPDC’s Housing for the Elderly gives tenants security that enables them to live independently and remain active in the community,” Mr Bird says.

“It also gives them a home close to family in communities across the district.”