Publications

More Victorians than ever before are approaching and entering retirement without owning their home, according to analysis of the 2021 Census commissioned by Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) and undertaken by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology, Western Sydney University and Curtin University.

It’s hard to see how the Federal Government’s plan to address Australia’s housing crisis, including its new accord with the states and territories, will help older people without a home.

The lives of older people experiencing homelessness, particularly older women, will improve markedly if the New South Wales Government moves to implement the recommendations handed down today by the Social Issues Committee inquiry into homelessness amongst older people aged over 55

The new Federal Government has committed to developing a National Housing and Homelessness Plan with the support and assistance of key stakeholders, including States and Territories, local government, not-for-profit and social organisations, industry bodies, superannuation funds and other experts in housing, finance and urban development. HAAG is  calling for ambitious targets along with genuine consultation of older people with lived experience of housing stress and homelessness.
 

Many older women struggling to stay housed in New South Wales will miss out on a key measure in the budget intended to support them, because they don’t have the savings to access it

As a new Labor government begins, and it gets to work on a new sizeable investment in social housing, it must ensure its housing policy is inclusive of older people, especially older women

The overwhelming majority of Australians will have social and affordable housing top of mind when they cast their vote at the upcoming federal election, new polling from HAAG shows.

Older renters will be best served by policies brought to the election by the Labor Party and the Greens, according to an analysis of housing policy by HAAG.

Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) has welcomed proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) that bring stronger protection for older renters in caravan park and residential parks.  In recent years, hundreds of home owners across Victoria who thought they had security in retirement have found themselves suddenly facing homelessness as developers closed the parks in which they lived.  Under the proposed reforms, residents will be able to access compensation if their parks close down and they are forced to move.

“Our members have been calling for an Ombudsman for the Retirement Housing industry for years,” said HAAG Chair Phyll Williams. “At the moment, older residents struggle to resolve disputes with their managers in quickly, cheaply and fairly. An ombudsman is sorely needed by many residents of retirement housing.” Ms Williams called on the Andrews government to match the LNP’s commitment. “Now that the Greens and the LNP have expressed support for an Ombudsman, its time for Labor to make it unanimous.  Proper protections for older Victorians should not be a partisan issue,” she said.

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Home at Last, a specialist housing support service for older people has revealed recent data showing a sharp spike in the number of clients reporting elder abuse over the last year. Since January 2018, 63 older people have reported abuse. This number has more than doubled since the same time last year.

 

Home at Last, are appalled at the findings of the Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program which revealed that the previous redevelopment in Kensington (a model for the current program) actually decreased the total number of Public and Community houses by 36% and the number of bedrooms by 54%, while selling off the public land for just 5% of its market value.

 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.

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.

See our response here 

Housing for the Aged Action Group, a Victorian organisation working to improve conditions for older renters, welcomed news of major changes to the state’s rental laws over the weekend. The Andrews Government will ban no-reason notices to vacate, allow tenants to keep pets, and introduce a Residential Tenancies Commissioner to make it easier to resolve minor disputes.

A report released today based on the latest 2016 Census is showing a rapidly rising number of older people at risk of homelessness in South Australia. This research, a partnership between Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) and The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Housing Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP) and funded by The Wicking Trust, has found that a significant number of older people in the private rental market in South Australia are living in housing poverty. 
Read the Summary Report Read the Full Report

"On 8 June 2017, 24 representatives from resident advocacy groups, universities, industry, ombudsman schemes, government agencies and regulators met in Melbourne at an Experts’ Forum to discuss the future of retirement housing regulation in Victoria. We were also joined by academics and advocates from interstate jurisdictions.

The Experts’ Forum followed the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the retirement housing sector, which released its final report on 7 March 2017. The Inquiry received 766 submissions and heard from 90 witnesses. The vast majority of evidence was received from residents.

The message to the Inquiry was clear: residents expect change. While many residents generally enjoy life in their choice of retirement housing, many are also frustrated by a system they see as geared in favour of operators. Some feel that instead of prioritising residents, operators are more concerned about satisfying shareholders.

Residents gave evidence to the Inquiry about what they see as unjustifiable exit fees, complex contracts and poor dispute resolution."

See the full report here

Eighty year old Retirement Village resident June Walkeden knows its tough paying bills on a pension, so she spends her free time hand making quilts to keep older people who have been at risk of homelessness warm.

Shocking new data from the ABS Census shows that 84% of single older* private renters in the Greater Melbourne region are in housing stress,  and the majority (54%) are in severe stress paying more than half their income in rent, forcing many older people into abject poverty and ill health. Current trends suggest this situation is only going to get worse with an ageing population and more people expected to be retiring in rental housing in the future rather than home ownership.

 

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