News & Events

Victoria’s 30-year draft strategy welcomed

December 11, 2016

The Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria has welcomed the draft 30-year strategy by Infrastructure Victoria that has called for a major investment in affordable and social housing.

 

As a leading retirement village and aged care provider in Victoria, OCAV works to provide affordable and safe housing for elderly Victorians in need, whether they live independently, or in supported or aged care living.

 

Phillip Wohlers, CEO of OCAV, also welcomed the call for government to develop “a comprehensive plan for providing access to affordable housing, either through subsidies or increasing supply”.

 

“We are particularly pleased the draft strategy has acknowledged the need to plan and provide for an increasingly ageing population. Despite Federal government policy to encourage people to ‘age in place’, meaning at home, the OCAV is aware that many elderly Victorians either do not own or cannot afford a home in which to age, or are living in unsafe public housing.”

 

He said that around 20 percent of residents would be homeless if it were not for OCAV.

 

The association’s services are in high demand, with a waiting list of 900 across its four villages. The association is seeking sites for additional villages to cater for this demand.

 

Specifically OCAV believes that the recommendation for 30,000 new affordable properties is too low and recommends an increase to 60,000. It also wants to see either land or a percentage of housing earmarked for affordable retirement housing or villages.

 

OCAV also wants to have specific mention made of older women, who are a particularly at-risk group and should be singled out for special treatment in the strategy. This is partly in train with recommendations to expand rental assistance programs and to replace or improve current public housing.

 

“The reality is though that public housing is not the preferred option for single, older women,” Mr Wohlers said.

OCAV is also calling for measures that simplify or remove planning barriers in order to meet the needs of older people.

 

Read OCAV’s submission.

 

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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