News & Events

More housing for older people

April 16, 2018

OCAV has collaborated in recent weeks with the Little Sisters of the Poor to offer housing to more older Victorians in need.

This collaboration has enabled older Victorians to access quality housing at either of the two organisations’ villages in Fitzroy North and Northcote.

Phillip Wohlers, OCAV CEO, said: “From time to time both organisations have vacancies, and it makes good sense to work together to provide a critical accommodation and support service to people on our waiting lists.”

The two organisations are among the oldest not for profit institutions in Victoria.

OCAV was founded in 1869 by a group of prominent Melbournians who wanted to ensure that older Victorians in need had somewhere secure and affordable to live, support when and if they needed it, and a community in which they felt engaged. Today it has four villages in Victoria, providing accommodation and support to around 500 older Victorians. OCAV is looking for investment partners to develop a fifth village.

The Little Sisters of the Poor was founded in Melbourne in 1884 and has been providing accommodation to the financially poor since then.  In addition to an aged care facility accommodating 51 elderly residents, the Little Sisters have recently extended their mission by constructing 22 independent living units.

The number of people who are homeless in Australia has soared by almost 15 per cent, with newly released Census data showing people living in “severely” overcrowded dwellings are the greatest contributors to this increase.

More than 116,400 Australians were homeless on Census night in 2016 – compared to 102,400 in 2011, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals. In Victoria, there was an 11 per cent increase in people who were counted as homeless in the last Census.

The data shows that there has been a notable increase in older people becoming homeless, with a 10 per cent increase in homelessness among women since 2011.

“These figures mirror our residents’ composition. At OCAV 79 per cent of our residents are women, and only 39 per cent owned their own home before moving to one of our villages. The remainder were either living in private rentals or staying with friends or family,” Mr Wohlers said.

Sanctuary is how artist Gillian Coates describes her home at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa. “When I go to Melbourne and I am heading back to Euroa, I can’t wait to get home to the peacefulness of this place. It is like a sanctuary for me."

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