Housing for Older People

Hunter Ageing Alliance forms a Reference Group on Housing for Older People

There are many existing problems in the housing options available for older people. These include:

  • lack of reasonably priced options for those who do not wish to remain in their own home
  • the increasing number of housing insecure older people, especially women
  • the lack of emergency housing for women fleeing domestic violence
  • the dwindling stock of social and low-cost housing
  • staffing and other issues within residential aged care
  • inadequate availability of community support to remain in own home.

None of these issues are being seriously addressed by the government or the private market. Governments, at all levels, do release regular reports detailing the problems, but little follow in the way of solutions.

HAA has recently formed a Reference Group of members to investigate the issues and examine possible solutions.

Some solutions that we have considered include:

  • Cooperative housing, such as being pursued by NewCoh (Newcastle Cooperative Housing)
  • Abbeyfield Housing involves houses with 12 bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. The house is occupied by ten older people or people with disabilities and a live-in housekeeper. Units can be purchased or rented as social housing.
  • Nightingale Housing has commenced in Victoria in attractive complexes that emphasise lifestyle and affordability.
  • Review the range of retirement facilities currently available in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
  • A Housing Summit bringing together all stakeholders to look at three issues:
    • social and affordable housing
    • housing for older people and people with disabilities
    • co-housing and cooperative housing

The Reference Group will meet monthly. Anyone wishing to join the group or further information should ring John Ward on 0407 923 842. No special expertise is required.