This month RAAG members discussed the Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria, and their thoughts on what needs to be considered for older people to ensure they have access to safe, affordable, secure, accessible long term housing.
The group all have different opinions, experiences, perspectives, priorities and solutions, but even so they found common ground on many factors.
The group agreed that housing needed to be built in appropriate and accessible areas that older people want to live in.
”They do need to have a lot of the housing for older people in appropriate areas … I want to live near people with a similar way of life and life stage.”RAAG Member
”Appropriate location is vital, for instance older people, they want to be near their families … medical centers, services, transport; it’s a town planning issue too.”RAAG Member
Members discussed using census data to work out where there were higher numbers of older people in housing stress and building houses there, as well as making sure the housing was close to places, people and services vital to living happily and well!
”You have the stats and you have the projections for older people and the ageing population and housing. You know older people need housing. So do something!”RAAG Member
Members also raised concerns about where the money the government earmarks for housing is actually going. Members relayed feeling frustrated when millions of dollars of money for houses are mentioned, and then the money seems to vanish and the houses still aren’t being built.
”The housing money provided is an appeasement but is vanishes and there is no houses. Where is the material coming from, where are human resources, where are the builders? They aren’t available so how will the houses get built.”RAAG Member
Accessibility was also discussed in relation to making sure houses that were built were fully accessible for all older people, especially those with disabilities. The group all agreed that it is important for people to be able to age in their homes without having to get major modifications as their needs change.
“We need the government to say: this is your house until you go.”RAAG Member
The group also see the investment in housing as an investment in future older people and the positive legacy that campaigning for housing justice now will have for future generations.
“Baby boomers, we need this now, but the housing will be good for the next generations too if you invest and design it properly.“RAAG Member
There were many more ideas thrown around about the housing crisis, rent increases, housing investors, pension rates, rent caps and much more!
If you would like to have your say, or keep on top of the progress of this inquiry, you can find more HERE!
If you need support to write in, or to understand more about campaigning, you can find more HERE on HAAG’s website!