Homes fit for purpose

The article ''Homes, more homes'' (Focus, 18/8) highlights the need for retiree housing embedded in our communities that keeps us linked to local services and social relationships. Housing built with universal design principles can also ensure we stay living independently in our own homes for most of our lives and rely less on expensive residential care. Desirable neighbourhood-based retiree housing models are in stark contrast to the large gated retirement villages that the housing industry tells us we should have.

However one vital perspective that also needs urgent action is the provision of more public and social housing. Home ownership rates continue to decline and the numbers of older people struggling to pay high rents in the insecure private rental market are doubling every 10 years. An older persons housing strategy would provide the framework to tackle these problems.

Jeff Fiedler, Housing for the Aged Action Group

Read the letter as it appeared online at the Age on Monday 19th August 2014  

The Zone - Homes for the ageing baby boomers by Michael Short.

Michael Short interviewed Professor Shane Murray, Dean of Art Design and Architecture at Monash University.

"We need to radically change the way we are planning for the ageing and rapid growth of Australia’s population, if we are to preserve and share fairly the rich quality of life for which our cities have become internationally recognised. The pressures are particularly acute because Australia is the one of the world’s most urbanised nations, with almost nine in 10 of us living in a built-up area...."

Read  the story as it appeared on-line in the Age, 17th August 2014.

the link is:


Rental market tightens by Simon Garner appeared in the August 2014 The Senior Victoria edition.

The impact of a tightening housing rental market is dramatically affecting many older people in Victoria. One is Joyce aged 92....

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Rising rents force pensioners to look for alternative housing.

Item by Stephen Taylor in the Mornington Peninsula News, 22 July 2014.

Read the news item.

Christmas has come in July for a 101-year-old Melbourne woman who has received a big cheque and a rent-free promise from the government.

Ivy Laver couldn't believe her luck last week when the Department of Housing rang her to say she would longer be paying rent in her public housing home, radio station 3AW has reported. Furthermore, Ms Laver learned she would receive $8000 in back-pay after unnecessarily paying rent for the 19 months since her 100th birthday. Her daughter, Michele Worthington, was even less believing. "I thought she must have dreamed it, so I rang the department that day and they confirmed it," Ms Worthington told 3AW Breakfast. The dream became a reality yesterday when the postman delivered her $8000 cheque.

The Department of Housing has confirmed that once a public housing tenant turns 100, they are no longer required to pay rent.

So what does a 101-year-old do with a bonus $8000? "Mum's going to take her family to the Windsor Hotel for high tea," Ms Worthington said. "My brother Richard, who is now deceased, worked there as a bellboy in the late 1940s." Ms Laver was a social smoker until she was in her 60s, when she starting smoking regularly until her 70s. She gave up drinking in her 80s.

Read the story as it appeared on-line at the Age.

By ABC's Alan Kohler posted Thu 17 July 2014

Like financial advice, regulation of the retirement village and aged care industry doesn't go far enough. What's more, consumers may be swindled by complex contracts, writes Alan Kohler.

To read the story online click  here  for the link.

Text only version of the news item.