The experiences of older tenants in the private housing market during the COVID-19 pandemic are the focus of a survey by the Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG). The survey targets older tenants in private rental accommodation as well as people living in retirement housing; staying with friends and family; or living in caravan parks.
HAAG Executive Officer, Fiona York, said that 41% of respondents to date are living in private rental accommodation, while 10% are homeless or couch surfing.
‘People are telling us that they are feeling less secure because of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Ms York said. ‘The reasons included lack of communication between the tenant and a landlord, and house sitters facing an even more precarious situation than usual.’
Respondents are calling for a greater supply of affordable long-term housing and an extension to the Centrelink COVID-19 supplement for aged and disability pensioners.
‘We will use the findings to lobby the Victorian Government for improvements to long-term accommodation for older people,’ Ms York said. Once collated, the report’s finding will be presented to the Minister for Housing, Richard Wynne, and the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz.
The online survey will remain open for respondents until the end of May.
HAAG is the only Australian organisation specialising in the housing needs of older people. If you are over 50 and need independent advice, information and practical housing support, you can call HAAG on 1300 765 178 or visit the HAAG website.