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Government VIC, Property Real Estate

Budget lacks the bold reform and investment required to end the housing crisis for older people

Housing for the Aged Action Group 2 mins read

Melbourne, May 15: Cost of living measures contained in the Federal Budget will help older people impacted by the housing crisis but only in the short-term.

The $300 energy rebate that all households will receive will help older people on low incomes who have very little money left over for essentials after they’ve paid rent.

Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) Executive Officer Fiona York says the impact of the cost of living measures on the well-being of older people is blunted by no new investment in public and community homes. The increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance is so modest that it will barely be noticed. 

“It will help in the months ahead but for the thousands of older people on low incomes who can’t afford rent, the extra dollars will be quickly gobbled up as rents continue to rise,” York says.

“What older people need is homes they can afford to live in. They need to be able to access public and community housing and not have to wait years to get it.”

HAAG welcomes the funding for 24,000 new home care packages to support older people to age in place, but this too is hurt by the lack of investment in public and community housing.

“To make use of these home care packages older people need homes they can afford,” York says.

The budget edged in the direction of the kind of reform that’s required to address some of the unfair outcomes the system currently produces. HAAG welcomes steps to address the superannuation gap, which increases the likelihood that older women experience homelessness and housing crisis as they age. These steps include reform of Paid Parental Leave and wage increases for workers in the care economy. 

However, they won’t help the hundreds of thousands of older women who have suffered under years of inequality and are facing poverty in retirement. There is very little in the budget that recognises the situation facing these older women or seeks to address it. 

“Housing is a human right and we hope the Federal Government enters the next federal election with a plan to create a tax system that benefits everyone, not just property owners,” York says.


About us:

Housing for the Aged Action Group is one of the only Australian organisations specialised in the housing needs of older people. Coming from grass-roots beginnings over 40 years ago, HAAG today is over 800 members strong. It is committed to finding long term solutions to the housing crisis facing older people in Australia.


Contact details:

Kye White, 0419 11 62 69 or Media@oldertenants.org.au

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