Of all the challenges in the aged care sector, affordable housing is one of the most prominent – and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) came forth recently with a Position Paper about this issue, calling for a “national affordable housing strategy” to be developed by all three levels of government. The organisation noted this was important as a way of ensuring housing availability for older Australians well into the future.
“Housing is essential to the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s increasing ageing population,” explained Adjunct Professor and CEO of ACSA John Kelly.
“The Position Paper is the result of research conducted by ACSA and extensive consultation with our members across Australia, who are significantly involved in providing accommodation solutions for older Australians.”
This new paper called for consideration of five recommendations, including the development of a housing strategy as noted above, and:
- Including the term ‘seniors accommodation’ in relevant state and territory legislation as a way of giving the developments special planning consideration
- Zero interest loans (and/or innovative funding) to upgrade as well as expand targeted housing solutions
- Introducing a government-support home equity release scheme, with clear monetary guidelines
- The government move to introduce an age pensioners saving account scheme, in which older Australians could invest surplus from the sale of their home.
These are certainly solid recommendations, and could be a useful step toward establishing greater financial sustainability in the sector.
“To ensure the wellbeing of older Australians, policy and planning for age-friendly housing needs to
consider the design, demand, affordability, supply and location of housing solutions for this age
group,” the ACSA Position Paper explained.
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