Ensuring Age Appropriate Housing and Priority Housing for Older People

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Scully, seconded by Councillor Scott -

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) is the only Australian organisation of its type specialising in the housing needs of older people. Representing 500 members, the Housing for the Aged Action Group are committed to finding long term solutions to the housing crisis facing older Australians, and do so by providing services and through advocacy;

(ii)        across the country, one in seven people experiencing homelessness are over the age of 55 years;

(iii)      older women are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in Australia;

(iv)      to address this crisis, a range of supports are required to cater for a broad spectrum of circumstances, including support to age in place, an increased supply of social and affordable housing for older people, supported accommodation models for older people with more complex needs and specific residential aged care facilities that can provide intensive support to those who have previously experienced homelessness;

(v)       in Victoria, the Housing for the Aged Action Group have established the Home At Last service with support from the Victorian government, which undertakes community and professional education to reach older people before they experience a housing crisis, offers free and confidential advice, support and advocacy to older people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or are wanting to plan their housing future. Home at Last is available to any older person in Victoria on a low income with low assets;

(vi)      as part of their mission to secure appropriate housing stock, services and housing policy reform for older people, the Housing for the Aged Action Group have made three requests of the NSW Government, which are:

(a)       fund a specialist service engaging with communities directly to reach older people before they experience a housing crisis, providing tailored housing information and assistance with housing applications, support during the move and referrals into aged care and other supports, similar to the Home At Last service delivered in Victoria;

(b)       lower the priority age for social housing eligibility from 80 years as a matter of priority; and

(c)       build 5,000 social and affordable homes per year for 10 years, 20 per cent of which should be dedicated to older people;

(vii)     the City of Sydney’s Local Housing Strategy, Housing for All, highlights that “There is a growing cohort of older people living in the city that has implications for the types of housing required to meet their needs”. To support this cohort the City of Sydney:

(a)       granted funds towards the Holdsworth Community pilot, a HomeShare program which provides the opportunity for older people to connect with people in the community and assist them to age in place;

(b)       granted $1.5 million to the HammondCare Darlinghurst Project which opened in 2020, which provides 42 rooms for older, vulnerable people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness; and

(c)       granted $3 million to Wesley Mission to develop 74 new dwellings for women aged over 55 who are at risk of homelessness or are experiencing homelessness; and

(B)      the Lord Mayor be requested to write to the Minister for Water, Property and Housing and the Premier of NSW to request that they meet with the Housing for the Aged Action Group to discuss their advocacy objectives and take steps to deliver on these objectives.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 18/10/2021

Date of decision: 18/10/2021

Decided at meeting: 18/10/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: