Senate Passes Motion calling for Action for Older Peoples Housing

Federal Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon moved a motion calling on the government to raise real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing, work with stakeholders to ensure the specific needs of older people are addressed in National Housing and Homelessness Agreement negotiations with states, and review the Commonwealth Assistance with Care and Housing Program to ensure it is meeting the needs of Australia’s ageing population.

The motion passed the Senate with only the Liberal Party and One Nation opposing. The motion referenced The older I get the scarier it becomes report and A Plan for Change: Homes for Older Women as evidence of the need for urgent action.

The full text of the motion passed on the 4th of December is reproduced below:

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that –

That the Senate –

  • Notes that:
    • According to Census data, the proportion of renting households in housing stress whose reference person is aged 65 years or over has risen from 31.7% in 1996 to 54.2% in 2016;
    • According to the 2017 report Older People at Risk of Homelessness in NSW, since 2012 the number of households in housing stress in receipt of Commonwealth Rent Assistance whose reference person is aged 65 years or over has increased 53.7%;
    • According to St Vincent de Paul Society, women aged 55 or over make up the fastest growing group of people experiencing homelessness; and
  • Calls on the federal government to:
    • Raise real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing;
    • Work with stakeholders to ensure the specific needs of older people are addressed in National Housing and Homelessness Agreement negotiations with states; and
    • Review the Commonwealth Assistance with Care and Housing Program to ensure it is meeting the needs of Australia’s ageing population.

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