Morrisons Aged Care Package avoids the elephant in the rented room

Melbourne based Housing Support organisation Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) welcome Treasurer Scott Morrison’s announcement of 14,000 extra aged care home packages. The government’s sentiments that it is better for a person’s wellbeing to receive support in their own home than to go into aged care aligns with HAAG’s goal of assisting older people to maintain independent living in their community of choice.
However, the group believe that there is something crucial missing from this announcement (and the budget in general). That’s Older Private Renters.
“There is an elephant in the room that is not being addressed by governments at the national or state levels.’ Says HAAG Executive Officer, Fiona York. ‘With lower rates of home ownership there are rapidly increasing numbers of older people retiring as private renters who do not have secure or affordable housing in order to receive aged care.”
Whilst home ownership continues to be the sole foundation of the home based aged care and pension system, HAAG are concerned that thousands of older renters will continue to be disenfranchised as impoverished second class citizens.
HAAG have been calling on the Federal Government to develop a national older persons housing strategy to ensure that secure and affordable housing for all, not just the asset rich, is a fundamental pillar of the aged care system.
“If you are renting from a private landlord, paying 70% of your age pension in rent, in a home that is not adaptable for ageing, where you can be given 60-day notice to vacate, then access to an aged care package may be futile.”

This media release was also sent and published as a letter to The Age.