This research confirmed what our frontline services staff were reporting, that increasing numbers of older people were at risk of becoming homeless or were already experiencing homelessness.
Ageing Out of Place: The Impact of Gender and Location on Older Victorians in Homelessness
Batterham, D. Kolar, V. Mallett, S. Westmore, T. & Yates, E. (2013), Ageing Out of Place: The Impact of Gender and Location on Older Victorians in Homelessness: A Pilot Study. Hanover Welfare Services, Melbourne.
This study builds on previous research by investigating the impact of gender and location on people aged 55 years and over, who have experienced homelessness or a housing crisis in either metropolitan or regional Victoria. Hanover’s 2011 research project, Ageing in What Place, studied the growing number of older people presenting at homelessness services, and their experiences of housing crisis.
“Affordable housing…that is the number one thing, and until that is done, we are playing around the edges really.”
Homelessness and housing services are reporting an increase in aged people coming to us for assistance with no history of homelessness. Older Australians in private rental, or those entering private rental for the first time, appear to be particularly vulnerable. While the population is diverse, these people all have insecure tenure and limited income. In Australia there is no coherent response for older people in housing crisis or at risk of homelessness. In Victoria, the service response for the aged is focused on individuals with chronic health issues and homeless histories. Currently, the homelessness service sector doesn’t provide a clearly differentiated response to those at risk of housing crisis or homelessness who are ageing. Confirming what many expect will become an increasing concern for the homeless sector, the report makes a number of recommendations designed to prevent elderly Victorians from experiencing homelessness and improving the support available to them if they do.
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