NSW State Election 2023 - Making Our Voices Heard
The housing crisis for older people in New South Wales is getting worse. It is time to act to turn the situation around. It is time to act. We are calling on the New South Wales Government to urgently address the housing crisis facing older people.
We worked hard to get a parliamentary inquiry into older people and homelessness. The inquiry made some critical recommendations that the NSW Government now needs to be pressured to implement.
Together, our voices are powerful. At this state election we have an opportunity to make some positive changes to address housing issues of older people in NSW. We have put together some useful materials for you to bring the issues that affect you and other older people in NSW to your parliamentarians and candidates.
Ageing on the Edge NSW is a coalition of about 90 members and organisations working together to address issues of housing and homelessness related issues of older people in NSW. We are calling on the NSW government to implement the recommendations of Social Issues Committee inquiry into homelessness amongst older people aged over 55 in NSW, especially –
- Fund a specialist older person’s housing information and support service that comprises both an early intervention and crisis response, similar to the HAAG ‘Home at Last’ model in Victoria.
- Lower the priority age for social housing eligibility from 80 years as a matter of urgency.
- Build 5,000 social and affordable homes per year for 10 years, at least 20% of which should be dedicated to older people.
Key stats and figures -
- Older women are the fastest growing cohort experiencing homelessness across the country.
- The NSW Homelessness Strategy recognises that between 2013/14 and 2016/17, NSW saw 88% growth in the number of women over the age of 55 years accessing homelessness services.
- A total of 5,216 older people in NSW were supported by Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS). On average, 31 requests for assistance went unmet each day.
- There are currently about 50,000 applicants on NSW social housing waiting list. Of those, over 15,800 are aged over 55 years.
- An estimated 110,000 women over 45 years of age are at risk of homelessness in NSW.
- There are no services targeted to support older people to navigate the housing system.
- The current service system is not designed to be age friendly for older people with information being available on online platforms and it can be overwhelming to sift through and navigate.
- NSW Homelessness Strategy 2018-2023 has early intervention and prevention as its first focus area. However, the early intervention and prevention services are focused on young people and women escaping domestic and family violence which is likely not appropriate for older people.
- HAAG has been delivering Home at Last service since 2012. The service encompasses an early intervention and prevention approach with ongoing support until the older person is safely housed.
- The Early intervention and prevention occur through engagement with communities directly and via peer educators who are able to reach people at risk of homelessness before they reach a crisis point.
- Services range from providing tailored housing information to assistance with housing applications, support during the move, establishing a new home and referrals into aged care and other supports.
- Earnt and Young conducted a cost benefit analysis of the service 2021 and found a cost benefit of $1 to $2.30 benefit.
- The service has been adopted in Queensland in its entirety to assist older people, particularly older women navigate the housing system.