COTA Victoria and SRV welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee’s inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria.
We are concerned about the current housing challenges facing older Victorians, who are increasingly impacted by increased rental prices and low available rental housing stock as the number of older renters increases. It is becoming progressively difficult for older Victorians to maintain the affordability of their current rental properties and ongoing home payments in the current environment, especially with an increased cost of living exacerbating the financial pressure on seniors. This impact can be seen by the increased number of older Victorians facing housing insecurity or homelessness.
It is clear that the rental and housing affordability crisis is having a range of negative impacts on older Victorians. Vulnerable demographics cohorts, such as older women and older people with a disability, are likely to be hit harder by the housing crisis. Housing and financial pressures are contributing to increased reports of elder abuse.
With Victoria getting older, it is vital that there is significant investment and support to ensure that older Victorians have access to secure housing if we want to support ageing well – while greater protections are needed to ensure that older Victorians do not pay the costs for a lack of action on this issue.