There is extensive research that warns of rapidly increasing housing challenges for older people. An ageing population, reducing rates of home ownership and increasing reliance on the private rental market are placing older people, particularly older people living on a fixed low income, at risk of a housing crisis or homelessness.
The Mercy Foundation is a member of the Ageing on the Edge Forum in NSW. The Forum is a coalition of over 140 organisations and supporters. The members of the Forum are advocates for change, including older people with lived experience of homelessness, service providers, peak advocacy bodies and private sector organisations, working together to address housing and homelessness related issues of older
The members include with experience of housing difficulties, advocates, service providers, peak bodies and private sector organisations. Other key members include the community Housing Industry Association NSW, the Housing for the Aged Action Group. The Mercy Foundation, Uniting mission Australia, the Womens Housing Company, the Older Women’s Network and the Women’s Electoral Lobby.
The forum is calling on the NSW government to implement the following main strategies to address the crucial issue of housing for older people.
- Fund a specialist older person’s housing information and support service that comprises of both early intervention and crisis response, similar to the ‘Home at Last’ model in Victoria.
- Lower the priority age for social housing eligibility from 80 years as a matter of urgency.
- Build 5,000 social and affordable homes per year for 10 years, 20% of which should be dedicated to older people.