The Ageing on the Edge - Older Persons Homelessness Prevention Project is extending HAAG’s work across Australia. In response to rapidly increasing housing problems facing older people, the project aims to raise awareness and improve services and housing for older people at risk of homelessness. The project made it into the National Housing Conference edition of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) journal Housing Works. Read the full article here
Each month StreetSmart supporters come together to support a grassroots homelessness project through fundraising.
This month Street Smart is raising money for HAAG's work with older women in NSW. Street Smart says,
"Older women are particularly vulnerable and are the fastest growing demographic of people experiencing homelessness. Older women are poorer than men their age, less able to maintain homeownership and less able to compete in the private rental market. Having spent their younger years in more unpaid work - many women lack superannuation in later years and are dependent on meager Aged Pension to get by".
Organisations are asked to encourage their members to fundraise and match the funds that are raised.
This has raised over 4 million dollars for 1418 homelessness projects across the country- with 100% of the funds raised going directly to projects.
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.
HAAG has made a submission to the Inquiry into the Treasury Laws Amendment to the The National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Bill. The bill presents the Australian government with an opportunity to develop a national housing policy that addresses increasing need for secure affordable 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.
A new report from the Ageing on the Edge - Older Persons Homelessness Prevention Project shows many older Australians are increasingly at risk of becoming homeless and spending more than half their pension and savings on rent. Seniors advocates are warning it's the beginning of a community crisis in Australia. Report by Sarah Farnsworth - Lateline.