OLDER PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS ON THE RISE – TURNBULL DOES NOTHING

15 Nov 2017

Today’s Mission Australia report on the rising number of older people experiencing homelessness, particularly older women, highlights the impact of the Turnbull government’s cuts and neglect.

OLDER PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS ON THE RISE – TURNBULL DOES NOTHING

Today’s Mission Australia report on the rising number of older people experiencing homelessness, particularly older women, highlights the impact of the Turnbull government’s cuts and neglect.

The report found that:

  • one in seven people experiencing homelessness are over 55 years old.

  • 21,600 people over 55 asked for help from specialist homelessness services in 2016.

  • Only 1.62 percent of properties across Australia are affordable for single people on the age pension

  • Only 4.28 percent are affordable for a couple on the age pension.

  • 14 percent of people aged 65-84, and 11 percent of people aged over 85, are now renting on the private market

Specialist homeless service providers are forced to turn away 275 people, 177 of whom are women, seeking assistance every day.

The Turnbull government has no plan to address homelessness and the housing affordability crisis. It is over five months since they announced they would negotiate a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, but the government has been incapable of finalising an agreement.

The Liberals cut $44 million in capital funding per year for emergency and transitional housing in the 2014/15 Budget.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $88 million over two years for a new Safe Housing Fund to increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, young people exiting out-of-home care and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.

Labor‘s $88 million commitment forms part of our housing affordability plan which will reform negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions and remove distortions in the rental market. Labor will also negotiate nationwide tenancy law reform which will help older people maintain secure tenancies.

The government should immediately match Labor’s $88 million commitment and reach a negotiated housing and homelessness agreement with the states and territories.

WEDNESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2017