Submission: Inquiry into Homelessness among older people aged over 55 in NSW


Everyone needs a home. Housing is the basis from which we ensure our communities’ well-being. This is not simply about the material, physical and structural protections housing provides, but also the sense of home and belonging within a wider community. The NSW housing system, and in particular the private rental market, has failed to ensure everyone has access to safe, secure, affordable housing. This failure increases both the risk of homelessness for renting households, and the barriers to people developing a pathway out of homelessness. Various features of the NSW renting system put older renters at particular risk of being made homeless.

This submission focuses on the insufficient protections and supports provided for people, and especially older people aged over 55, who rent their homes. We outline a range of policy and legislative reforms to our rental housing system/s to address homelessness, including increasing the supply of social housing and addressing rental affordability by placing fairer limits on rent increases within and between tenancies.

This submission addresses the following Terms of Reference:

(b) factors affecting the incidence of homelessness,

(c) opportunities for early intervention to prevent homelessness,

(d) services to support older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including housing assistance, social housing and specialist homelessness services,

(g) options to better support older people to obtain and maintain secure accommodation and avoid homelessness,

(j) the specific impact of homelessness … on older women,

(k) the impact of homelessness, including the increased risk of homelessness in the community, on older people in vulnerable groups, and

(l) any other related matter.