Older people at risk of homelessness

Published on 06/12/2017

Older woman sitting on a couch - report cover

The older I get the scarier it becomes is a new report into the risk of homelessness for older people in NSW. The report was released on 29th November by the Ageing on the Edge Homelessness Prevention Project, during the 2017 National Housing Conference. Robert Mowbray, Tenants' Union Project Officer for Older Tenants, represents the TU on the NSW Reference Group for this project.

The older I get the scarier it becomes report shows that there has been a 50% increase in the number of older people at risk of homelessness in NSW in the last five years. An insecure and unaffordable private rental market, a lengthy social housing waiting list, a homelessness service system that is not resourced to respond to older people, and poor linkages between the housing and aged care sectors, mean that the odds are stacked against older people. Unless urgent action is taken now, the problem will only get bigger.

Research has shown there are great benefits for the health and wellbeing of older people and also for governments as the provision of 'upstream' early intervention focused specialist older people's housing services provide significant economic savings compared to the cost of 'downstream' crisis interventions. Such services can assist older people to access affordable housing and ensure they live independently for longer. They require less emergency housing and health services and avoid premature entry into residential aged care accommodation.

The focus of the NSW research phase of the Ageing on the Edge Project, is to explain the extent, scale and location of older people at risk of homelessness in NSW and ensure that action is taken so the current housing and service systems can work much better for older people and achieve greater outcomes in obtaining affordable housing outcomes.


Read the summary report

Read the full report