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More housing for older people

February 19, 2018

More social and public housing should be specifically funded and built for older people, according to a submission by OCAV into the 2018 Victorian budget.


The submission focuses on the association’s view that housing has to be viewed as infrastructure rather than a social need.


“Until we change the mindset that housing is as essential as roads, we will continue to see the rise of single older women who are homeless, and other elderly Victorians living in unsafe housing,” Shaaron Robilliard, Director of Nursing and Quality Manager, said.

OCAV stresses that funding has to be directed to age-friendly accommodation. The submission notes that older people are omitted from many of the terms of references and consultation papers on housing, for example the Public Housing Renewal Program.

“This is an oversight, and needs to be addressed urgently given that people over the age of 80 are now the fastest growing age group in Victoria. Further, seven million Australians aged 50 to 75 years are facing an extended life expectancy,” Ms Robilliard said.

The submission makes the point that all public and social housing must abide by universal design principles to meet accessibility standards.

“Given the focus on ageing-in-place, meaning the home, the Victorian government can and should make more appropriate housing available for people with disability and older people, by mandating minimum accessibility requirements in the building code for residential housing,” Ms Robilliard said.

OCAV also wants the Government to action recommendations to mandate building code accessibility standards. The recommendations, made in 2010, have not yet been fully introduced. These include extending accessibility requirements to detached housing, and to improving standards in apartments.

Read the full submission.

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