Secure housing plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of older South Australians, but a variety of factors mean that it is rapidly moving out of reach for an increasing number of older people. Research commissioned in 2023 by the COTA Federation found that 1 in 20 Older Australians surveyed (5%) feel worried about their risk of homelessness in the next 12 months.
Housing stress is compounded by ageism, poor health and long periods of underemployment prior to age pension eligibility. Women aged 55+ are particularly at risk because of a lifetime of lower wages, lower superannuation, and asset losses in separations. Older women are one of the fastest growing populations experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia.
COTA SA was proud to be a member of the State Government’s Housing Security for Older Women Taskforce, which handed its recommendation report to the Minister for Human Services, Nat Cook, for improving housing security of older women in South Australia. The report was publicly released earlier this week and includes 40 recommendations for short and long term solutions to the housing crisis across four focus areas which are:
- New Supply Models and Land Use
- Private rental
- Social Housing.
It is critical that Government takes action and we look forward to continuing to work with Minister Cook in support of this and to assist in implementing recommendations that will make a real difference to older women at risk of, or experiencing, housing stress and homelessness.