COTA Victoria and SRV welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the worsening rental crisis in Australia. This submission has been adapted from COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria’s submission 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 that older people are facing with inflating rental prices and low available rental housing stock. We have found it increasingly difficult for older Victorians to progressively maintain the affordability of their current rental property amidst the current environment, especially with the increased cost of living exacerbating the financial pressures experienced by seniors. This submission highlights the impact that older Victorians are facing with the ongoing rental crisis, which is also widely impacting older people across Australia.
The worsening rental affordability crisis is having a range of negative impacts on older people. Vulnerable cohorts, such as older women and older people with a disability, are likely to be hit hardest, with financial pressures contributing to increased reports of elder abuse.
It is vital that there is significant investment and support to ensure that older people have access to secure rentals if we want to support positive ageing. Greater protections are needed to ensure that older people do not pay the costs for a lack of action on this issue.