Last week, Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) released a report Ageing in a housing crisis: Older people’s housing insecurity and homelessness in Australia that reveals the increasing housing insecurity being experienced by older people across the housing system.
- The proportion of older people that own their home outright is declining, while the proportion of older people living with a mortgage is increasing.
- There are growing numbers of older people living in private rental.
- Housing affordability in the private rental market is a struggle, with people on the lowest incomes hardest hit.
- Decreasing numbers of older people live in social housing.
- More older people live in marginal housing than they did 5 or 10 years ago. Marginal housing is housing that is overcrowded or in caravan parks.
- The number of older people experiencing homelessness increased by 4,500 over ten years.
- Older men are more likely to be living in boarding houses, compared to older women who are more likely to be living in overcrowded dwellings or staying temporarily with another household.
Some of the recommendations are:
- Build more public and community housing for people over 55 years who cannot afford rent in the private rental market.
- Strengthen rental laws to enable longer leases and minimum accessibility standards.
- Fund specialist housing support services for older people.
- Financial institutions should work with older mortgage holders to avert financial stress and hardship.