- Liberal National Government releases discussion paper on seniors housing
- Seeking input to identify major issues, barriers and potential solutions
The Liberal National Government is developing a new, long-term strategy to increase the availability of affordable and appropriate housing options for older
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said a Seniors Housing Strategy was a critical step towards helping seniors - or 'last homebuyers' - on low-to-moderate incomes to age well in their community.
"Helping seniors to transition to appropriate housing is vital for a more enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle in older age - while potentially freeing up housing for the next generation," he said.
"Last homebuyers are just as important as first homebuyers, but for too long this group has been overlooked.
"Despite the excellent work of the retirement living sector, the housing market is not keeping up with the demands of the ageing population. The Liberal National Government is committed to developing a Seniors Housing Strategy to complement our highly successful Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020."
Mr Grylls said developing a Seniors Housing Strategy required collaboration and consultation, as many of the necessary policy changes and actions were outside of Government.
"We have met with seniors, the seniors housing sector, private industry and local government and what I am hearing is that seniors want to retire in the community they belong to, provided they are connected to services and transport," he said.
"They want to downsize, but have difficulty finding suitable options that are affordable. Some are open to shared living arrangements, provided the design of the house is right. Seniors are a very diverse group with a broad range of housing needs - just like the rest of the population - so they need the choice and diversity in housing options to cater for those needs."
Based on the consultation to date, the Housing Authority has developed a discussion paper that seeks responses from key stakeholders across industry, the community services sector and Government to identify the major issues, barriers and potential solutions.
Seniors and Volunteering Minister Paul Miles encouraged Government agencies, private industry, and the seniors housing and community services sectors to help develop solutions.
"If we do not create affordable and appropriate housing options to accommodate WA's ageing population, the costs of public housing, health care and home modifications for seniors will continue to rise," Mr Miles said.
Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, December 16, 2016.
- By 2050, the number of West Australians aged between 65 and 84 is expected to double to one million people, with the number aged over 84 expected to quadruple
- 82% of WA housing stock is three bedrooms or more, leaving fewer options for senior homeowners who want to downsize
- WA has the highest proportion of senior renters in Australia
- There has been an increase in first-time homelessness for older women
- The discussion paper can be accessed online via the Housing Authority's website or in hard copy by contacting Shelter WA on 9325 6660
Minister's office - 6552 6100