Anglicare Australia calls for action to help renters age at home

Anglicare Australia is calling for action to help older renters age at home after releasing a landmark study that showed that older Australian renters are being pushed prematurely into aged care due to high costs, insecurity and insufficient quality of housing.

Ageing in Place, a national survey of 500 older people across Australia, found significant barriers to ageing at home, which could be addressed by federal policy reform.

The report also found nearly half of older renters live in poverty, spending much more money on housing than people who own their homes.

Its in-depth interviews found that:

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·       87 percent of people want to remain at home as they get older.
·       72 percent of renters said cost was the biggest barrier to ageing at home, compared to just 15 percent of owners.
·       46 percent of renters said their home is suitable for an older person, compared to 70 percent of owners.

“Everyone should be able to live life to the fullest as they get older. For most people, that means ageing in their own home,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“But the housing crisis is locking more and more Australians out of that dream. Almost 70 percent of renters in our survey said that cost is the biggest barrier to ageing at home.

“Others are worried about security. We interviewed people who were forced to move, accept changes to their lease, and were afraid of being evicted. This is at a time of life when stability is more important than ever. That’s why Anglicare Australia is calling on all levels of government to make changes that help people age at home.”

Chambers said reforms were needed to aged care and home care to enable renters to make their homes more accessible and age-friendly, to get the support they need, and stay independent for longer.

“We’re calling for a new model of leasing that offers longer-term security for older people and protects them from unfair rent increases. And we need a big boost to social housing. Social housing is the most powerful way to keep older people in secure homes and stop them from going into aged care before they’re ready,” she said.

“Older people have told us what they need to age well. Our hope is that governments will listen and help more Australians to age at home.”

Ageing in Place: Home and Housing for Australia’s Older Renters is part of Anglicare Australia’s Australia Fair series.