Ageing out of place? The impact of gender and location on older Victorians in homelessness: A pilot study.

It is widely acknowledged that Australia has a growing ageing population. The growing housing affordability problem is also widel y recognised. Declining rates of home ownership and a projected increase in older people in private rental are also well documented. The numbers of older people vulnerable to homelessness will increase. This has implications for the homelessness services system. While currently the scale of the problem is small in relation to other homeless sub- populations (55+ represent 17% of the homeless population at present, Chamberlain and McKenzie, 2008), we currently have an opportunity to plan preventative strategies for this older cohort. In 2011, Hanover Welfare Services (Hanover) completed a research project Ageing in What Place (Westmore & Mallett, 2011a), which investigated the growing number of older persons presenting at homelessness services. The present study builds on this earlier phase of research by undertaking a preliminary investigation into the role that gender and location play in housing crisis and homelessness for people aged 55 and over in Victoria.