Housing for the Aged Action Group Publications

This written submission is provided by Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria (RRVV), Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) and COTA Victoria (COTA Vic). The need to address widespread problems in the retirement housing industry is long overdue. We welcome industry efforts to better protect and promote the rights and interests of older Australians who choose to live in retirement housing. We also generally support the
aim of the Draft Retirement Living Code of Conduct (the Code), which is to ‘improve accreditation standards and coverage, and to set and maintain high standards about the marketing, selling and operation of Retirement Communities’. However, we do not consider that the Code distributed by the Retirement Living Council (RLC) would achieve these aims or properly address resident concerns without significant amendments....

Read the full submission here

"There has been increasing awareness of the statistics of women aged 55 and over experiencing homelessness in Victoria and Australia more broadly. The 2014 report ‘Older Women’s Pathways Out of Homelessness in Australia’ found that women in this age group may have limited superannuation, minimal work experience and potentially inadequate financial literacy from time unemployed due to caring responsibilities and unpaid labour. Therefore many older single women may be living off welfare payments with minimal savings while renting in the unaffordable and unsustainable private rental market. The 2014 report states that older women are more likely to be the ‘invisible homeless’, both physically and statistically; more likely to couch surf, live in their car or at home under threat of violence than be sleeping rough.    This physical and statistical invisibility means that appropriate and specific services, support, referrals and housing are minimal. It also means on a policy level there is limited government understanding of what is needed to not only support older women out of homelessness, but prevent homelessness or housing instability occurring in the first place. "

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On the 13th of January, Minister for Housing Martin Foley announced that the State Government would invest $45 million in housing services and housing, to tackle the state’s homelessness crisis. While Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) welcomes the focus on early intervention and pathways into long term housing, it would like to see more money invested into housing itself, so that services can offer long-term, rather than band aid solutions.

Since its announcement in February 2016, HAAG members have been contributing to the Victorian Parliament’s Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector. HAAG members were also involved in campaigning for the inquiry itself, so much work has gone into this area of policy development.

HAAG’s extensive submissions to the inquiry were based on the work and knowledge of our ILU and CARPAV working groups over many years. Individual members and staff presented at the oral hearings, sharing their personal experiences. The Government received nearly 800 written submissions and oral testimonies over a three month period.

In March 2017, the government released the Inquiry’s report, which made 15 recommendations to improve the sector.

See our response here 

This submission focuses on the need for the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Bill to acknowledge the dire circumstances facing an increasing ageing population that is facing a future of housing hardship due to successive government policies that have focused on private rental subsidies in Commonwealth Rent Assistance rather than much needed capital expenditure on public and community housing. This has created a long-term need for investment in public and community housing but also urgently put in place specialist early intervention homelessness support services to assist the thousands of older people experiencing hardship and at risk of homelessness in the private rental market.

Older Tenants' Voice Summer Newsletter - December 2017


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See our Financial Report for 2016/2017 Financial year here. This report comes from our independent auditors, Saward Dawson.

Consumer Action (CALC), RRVV, HAAG and COTA Vic have provided feedback about the proposed amendments to retirement villages fact sheets.
The group do not oppose the proposed amendments to the fact sheets, but are concerned that this is not a good enough tool for protecting residents from entering into unfair contracts...

View the submission here

Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), COTA Victoria and Housing for the Aged Action Group have made a joint submission in relation to the remake of the Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008 (the Regulations).
View the submission here

 

There has been a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector. Recommendations have been released, and we have met with 30 MP's to hear about what they will do to implement these recommendations. Still, there is much to be done...

Download HAAG's Response to the Retirement Housing Inquiry  

Download flyer to help arrange a meeting with your MP

Download the key election asks

Download template letter for MP's

Send an email directly to Premier Daniel Andrews

"The older I get the scarier it becomes report shows that there has been a 50% increase in the number of older people at risk of homelessness in NSW in the last five years. An insecure and unaffordable private rental market, a lengthy social housing waiting list, a homelessness service system that is not resourced to respond to older people, and poor linkages between the housing and aged care sectors, mean that the odds are stacked against older people. Unless urgent action is taken now, the problem will only get bigger.
 
 

Annual Report for 2016 - 2017 Financial Year

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Housing for the Aged Action Group has responded to the call for submissions to the Victorian Inquiry into the Re-development of a number of public housing sites.

A number of recommendations are contained in the submission including the following:

  • Tenants must be consulted meaningfully. Each tenant should receive a letter inviting them to consultation about the process. Given that many tenants may speak languages other than English or have low-level literacy, these letters should be delivered by an individual who can then sit down with the tenant and a telephone interpreter if necessary to explain its content. Translated letters are not enough.
  • Advocates (non-DHHS) are employed to work with every tenant about their housing and relocation needs, including planning for the type of housing stock and the design of their new homes.
  • Tenants are moved into new stock that is built on the property- reducing disturbance such as having to relocate schools, find new health care providers etc.
  • Representatives of an independent advocacy service should be on-site on a daily basis and available to answer any questions tenants have
  • All new stock should be public housing.

The full Submission can found here

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Download our current membership form to join this incredible organisation. Membership for pensioners is free!

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Newsletter September Spring 2017 Older Tenants' Voice

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Housing for the Aged Action Group, a Victorian organisation working to improve conditions for older renters, welcomed news of major changes to the state’s rental laws over the weekend. The Andrews Government will ban no-reason notices to vacate, allow tenants to keep pets, and introduce a Residential Tenancies Commissioner to make it easier to resolve minor disputes.

Nominate for HAAG's committee of management by returning this form by 8th November 2017.
You must be a current member to nominate, second or accept a nomination.
Please call  03 9654 7389 to ensure your membership is current. 

Download nomination form here

Download the HAAG membership form in Bosnian here

Download HAAG membership form in Vietnamese here

Download the HAAG membership form in Turkish here

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