Older people impacted by housing crisis must contribute to the development of Australia’s National Housing and Homelessness Plan

The voices of older people without homes and those struggling to afford rent must be prioritised as the new Albanese Government seeks to address Australia’s housing crisis, according to Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG).

Today Tasmanian MP Julie Collins was sworn in as the new Housing and Homelessness Minister and one of her first tasks will be overseeing the development of a National Housing and Homelessness Plan. With the number of older people seeking homelessness help increasing, that process must begin in earnest and include genuine consultation with those who have firsthand experience of the housing crisis, HAAG Executive Officer Fiona York says.

“Over the weekend we heard from Tanya Bluet, a 62-year-old Tasmanian set to be evicted from her home. Sadly stories of older women being priced out of private rentals and forced into homelessness are all too common, right around Australia,” York says.

“In fact, one in three people know an older woman in their community who is struggling to afford rent.

“We ask Minister Collins to listen to older women who are struggling find an affordable home, and involve them in the design, development and implementation of the National Housing and Homelessness Plan.”

Last week, data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed the number of women over 50 seeking homelessness help nationally has increased 17% since 2018.
“People are worried about their grandmothers, friends and neighbours forced to couch surf, or move far away from family, because there just aren’t enough affordable homes,” York says.
“We need to build at least 25,000 new public, community and affordable homes each year so older people, and others on low incomes, aren't left struggling to compete in Australia's brutal private rental market.”