A Victorian seniors’ lobby group is calling on the state’s politicians to commit to more appropriate seniors housing for older people in the lead up to this month’s election.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria warned that there is an alarming risk of homelessness among older Victorians, particularly older women.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) estimates that there will be a 115 per cent increase in the number of people aged 65 and over living in low income rental housing by 2026.
According to COTA Victoria’s CEO, Sue Hendy, more than 400,000 older Victorians will need appropriate assisted housing.
“We’re calling on candidates to make a commitment to investment in assisted [and] accessible housing for 419,000 older Victorians by 2026,” she said.
“Older people have worked their entire lives to build Australia’s best performing state. They deserve priority on Government housing lists.”
Ms Hendy said that low rental housing on the private market is often inappropriate for older Victorians.
It usually lacks basic design features needed for older people, such as easily accessible bathrooms, heating and cooling, and open plan living areas where cupboards and other amenities are within easy reach.
“With around a quarter of Victoria’s population aged over 60, seniors are not a minority population,” said Ms Hendy.
“Candidates need to outline policies and projects that provide older Victorians with accessible, affordable, well-maintained and secure housing, or risk losing a large number of Victorian voters.
COTA is also seeking firm commitments from the state’s candidates on rebates for rates, energy and water.