Submissions

Australia must address the rapidly increasing problem of homelessness for older people. Many of those affected are women and most are facing homelessness for the first time. They are facing unprecedented economic pressures relating to unaffordable rents and the cost of living, which continues to drive up the number older people facing homelessness. With tailored early intervention strategies to prevent homelessness we can avoid the many consequences of homelessness for older people including  premature entry into aged care, severely compromised physical and mental health and in this era of COVID-19, premature death due to the inability to socially isolate.

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Our clients who live in retirement housing options and receive their energy via an embedded network report concerns with exempt sellers over-charging them for their usage. Our clients often experience a digital divide in accessing adequate information, and commonly express a fear of speaking out and asserting their rights due to fear of negative consequences from management.

This feedback was provided to the Essential Service Commission’s (ESC) Maximum prices for embedded networks and other exempt sellers Draft Decision.

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This policy note to bring to light the difficult choices facing older people during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to both service and survey data from HAAG in late April and May the lives of older people experiencing rental stress are becoming even more precarious.

PDF icon Read the report here

Throughout 2019-2020 we surveyed and interviewed 228 older LGBTI people aged between 50 and 80 years of age about their housing and the information they provided forms the basis of this submission. We found that more older LGBTI people have experienced homelessness than their non-LGBTI counterparts, and that older LGBTI people are in circumstances that place them at risk of homelessness.

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This submission was prepared in partnership with Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care, Switchboard Victoria, and Transgender Victoria.


All older people in Australia should enjoy the same high standards of care. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many older people who experience deep and persistent disadvantage. This category of deep and persistent disadvantage describes any older person suffering from the effects of poverty, trauma and/or social isolation, homelessness, and anyone with reduced capacity to live independently or without informal support/s from family, friends or carers.
We estimate that there are over 18,000 older people in Australia experiencing this type of disadvantage who cannot readily access aged care or who are not welcome in many services.

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In September 2019, HAAG was invited to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.  Read our statement here

Older people in the 55-74 age bracket are the fastest growing cohort within the overall homeless population. Homelessness for older people in Victoria grew at a rate of 57% between 2011 and 2016, compared to 11% in Victoria overall. Australia’s ageing population is rapidly growing. It is predicted to more than double from 2010 to 2050. While the population grows, so does the homelessness crisis for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Read our Submission here

The Aged Care system should be respectful of rights, choice and dignity, but there should also be recognition that for many people who are experiencing homelessness, or living in unsuitable or unaffordable housing, there is no real “choice” in aged care, and the focus instead should be accessing the system.
HAAG strongly support any reforms that lead to a system which is easy to navigate and understand, supportive of the wishes of the older person, and well connected with other services.

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Older renters are a key demographic when it comes to rental reform. People over 55 make up the fastest growing segment of the private rental market, a major and growing proportion of social housing tenants, and a key cohort for caravan and residential parks. The government has recognised the needs of older renters as a key concern of the RTA review from the Laying the Groundwork paper onwards. Existing transitional provisions specify certain rental reforms – such as minimum standards – that will only apply to new fixed term or periodic agreements entered into after July 2020. We are concerned this will tend to disproportionately disadvantage older renters.

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Housing for the Aged Action Group submission in response to the Regulatory Impact Statement for the proposed Residential Tenancies Regulations 2020

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