A report released today by HAAG and Social Ventures Australia finds that the number of older women at risk of homelessness in Australia is a staggering 405,000. This includes:
- 165,000 women aged between 45 – 55 years and
- 240,000 women aged 55 years and over.
This alarming number demands Commonwealth leadership and action to ensure older women have a safe and affordable home, when they need it the most.
Both short and long term measures are required to address this issue, including:
- Women at risk of or experiencing homelessness now need additional support such as an increase in income or additional CRA to help them pay rent and have a livable income.
- The age for the NSW priority list for social housing needs to be lowered from 80 to 65 years or lower.
- A National Housing Strategy to address the shortfall in social and affordable housing.
- The establishment of a state wide service, such as the Home at last service in Victoria, for older people to access for support when they are in a housing crisis, before becoming homeless.
More recommendations are detailed in the report below.
We know that a stable home is fundamental to good health and well being; COVID-19 has illustrated how essential a safe and affordable home is for everyone. Older single women in the private rental market are at least twice as likely to be at risk of homelessness compared to their peers who own their home or hold a mortgage. This injustice begs attention and action now.
Read the full paper here: