News & Events

Meeting housing needs of elderly

June 21, 2017

OCAV’s track record for providing accommodation to older Victorians in need has been highlighted in a publication that explores solutions to improve affordable housing.

Stakeholder Perspectives on Australia’s Housing System was commissioned by NAB and prepared by Australian Futures Project to understand how different stakeholders see the affordable housing system in Australia.

Phillip Wohlers, CEO of OCAV, was one of 17 leaders across Australia to be interviewed about the challenges, as well as ideas for a better future.

His views, outlined in the publication, included the need to assist senior women who are increasingly at risk of homelessness.

“Most of our residents are older women and many have been in rental housing all of their lives with little opportunity to buy. They have been at the beck and call of the market,” Mr Wohlers said.

“What we have found is that when the rent goes up, the women simply have not been able to afford it anymore. They had to move out and had nowhere else to go.”

And it is not just older women, Mr Wohlers says. About 50% of Australians won’t own their home at retirement. They need security beyond a private rental tenancy of a 12-month lease.

The research identified that many uncertainties remain about the future of affordable housing including where the growth in affordable housing stock is going to come from in the future, what tenancy reforms are needed to create security for renters and a more attractive asset for investors, and what are the implications of fewer pensioners owning their own home in the future?

Mr Wohlers said the research has highlighted many areas that framed OCAV’s Vision for 2020 such as the need for industry action and leadership.

“One of our priorities is to draw on our 150-year history of providing age appropriate accommodation and continuum of care and champion action and change for older Victorians in need,” he said.

As part of Vision for 2020, OCAV is currently planning a series of conversations around housing and other age-related issues to harness genuine partnerships that result in change.

“Rather than duplicating or competing, we believe that Government, industry and the not-for-profit sector have to come together to think long-term about providing solutions that work, rather than piecemeal programs.”

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."

Enquire today about securing a position at one of Melbourne's longest established and highly reputable independent living estates.

Enquire Now