Help for QLD seniors with housing decisions

Older Queenslanders will have better support to stay in their homes and remain connected to their communities with the announcement of new measures.

 

Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke has announced initiatives that respond to the recommendations of the Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders report.

 

“Being able to choose where we live is something most of us take for granted,” she said.

 

“But as we get older a range of factors such as health needs, accessibility and support services can make the decision increasingly complex.

 

“People are often not planning early enough for retirement and their housing needs, and as a result housing decisions are often made at a time of crisis and are made in a hurry or are made by another family member.”

 

The Taskforce report outlines that Queensland’s ageing population will have significant implications for housing in Queensland in the future. Consequently the Government has allocated $500,000 over two years to assist older people to make the right decisions about their housing options.

 

“A telephone help-line will provide seniors with information on housing options, ranging from home ownership to retirement villages to aged care. We will also run an awareness campaign to encourage people to plan for their housing future early,” she said.

 

Annual roundtables with various stakeholders will also be held to bring together representatives from seniors groups, industry and academia to develop practical solutions to seniors housing issues.

 

Mrs O’Rourke said to get the community involved, housing innovation has also been a focus of the first round of the $1 million per annum for three years Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program.

 

“The 2017-18 round has recently closed and I am looking forward to announcing the successful projects,” she said.

 

The Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders report was handed to the Queensland Government in 2016.

 

Mrs O’Rourke said the Queensland Government had accepted the 21 recommendations made in the report and will be supporting 18 recommendations and backing the remaining three in principle.

 

Recommendations supported by the Government include:

  • That the Queensland Government assist vulnerable older people to access and maintain appropriate housing.
  • That the Queensland Government explore mechanisms to support greater security of tenure for older people in private rental housing.
  • That the Queensland Government, as part of development of the new housing strategy, consider the current regulatory framework for seniors living, including retirement villages and manufactured homes, as a platform for development of new legislative models for housing options for the ageing population.
  • That the Queensland Government explore the need and options for establishing services to support older people at risk of homelessness.

 

COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mark Tucker-Evans said that the report recognised that older Queenslanders had to survive in an increasingly complex and competitive housing market. The largest investment that many seniors have made during their working lives is the family home. Seniors cannot afford to jeopardise that investment through a bad housing decision.

 

“Planning ahead is critical. Housing decisions are complex, often have emotional implications and for some older people decisions may be made under stress. Many older people are overwhelmed by the challenge of finding and processing the information they need,” MrTucker-Evans said.

 

13 July 2017.