Rent hike forces senior citizens out after 46 years
A $20,000 rent hike has forced a Coast senior citizens club from its home of more than 46 years.
Caloundra Senior Citizens Club will leave CCSA Hall in Nutley Street at the end of this month after its executive committee refused to meet new rental demands.
Club treasurer Monica Whiteley said notice of a rise from $31,000 a year to $52,000 a year arrived in January.
She said covering the rise would mean charging higher entry prices for events held three days-a-week, a move the club was not willing to implement.
The hall is run by not-for-profit organisation Caloundra Committee of Service to the Ageing, of which David Smythe has been president since 2004.
"Our members are concerned about giving them another $20,000 and where it is going," Mrs Whiteley said.
She said the 300-member club had signed a 12-month agreement to be based at the Uniting Church Hall in Queen Street.
Club member Jesse Parker, 100, was upset by the move.
She has been a coming to meetings and events since before the club moved into the Nutley Street hall in the early 1970s.
"We should not be going," Mrs Parker said.
"We should own this hall."
She said she would still go to the club's new home "every few weeks to see how it goes".
"I don't want to go.
"I want to be here."
Mr Smythe said the rent rise was necessary to cover increased cleaning as well as set up and pull down costs.
He said he and his wife could not continue to dedicate more than full-time hours volunteering to keep the hall running.
"It is simply they weren't prepared to pay the extra to accommodate that," Mr Smythe said.
He hoped the club would reconsider its move and has organised a public meeting at the hall from midday on Thursday (April 19) to brainstorm ideas about services offered to senior citizens going forward.
All are welcome.