Welcome to 2016. A year of Reform & Housing Security for O.W.L’s.
2016 is the year of renewed vigor in pursuing affordable, secure appropriate housing for O.W.L’s.
Friday 11th March 2016
Older women still facing significant issues in housing, employment: commissioner
Age discrimination commissioner Susan Ryan
“As women live longer, are paid less and have less super than men, this growing poverty is of even greater consequence for older women,” said Ms Ryan.
The lack of affordable and accessible housing for older people, particularly women who generally had lower retirement incomes, was another key pressing issue
“Older women who do not own a home will not be able to afford city rentals once they are fully reliant on the age pension,” said Ms Ryan.
While bodies such as OWN had warned decision makers of the housing crisis facing for older women for years, very little has been done, she said
Executive director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers, who also spoke at the event, said the organisations’s Rental Affordability Snapshot had shown that if on a single age pension, as many older women were, less than 1 per cent of 65,500 rental properties surveyed across Australia were affordable
As Australia marked International Women’s Day this week, a new report shows half a million older Australian women are living in long-term income poverty, and calls for urgent affordable seniors housing.
What are the key tipping points for women across the life span with regard to economic and social disadvantage?
The literature review, in combination with qualitative interviews with key informants, indicated a complex mix of circumstances that serve to discriminate against women, which include the casualisation of the workforce, the superannuation system, and family violence.
The triggers for disadvantage, which are often unexpected events across the life span, most commonly include:
· Loss of employment
· Illness or injury, and
· Family breakdown and crisis related to divorce and widowhood.
In combination, these factors present older women with serious challenges in both the short and longer term.
Given demographic, societal changes and a historical context of gender inequality, what challenges lie ahead for older women?
· Insufficient financial security for older age
· Lack of public discourse about age and gender discrimination
· Housing unaffordability and lack of public housing stock
· Balancing family and work responsibilities
· Changing nature of family
· Addressing the persistence and accumulation of inequality and disadvantage.
Action on affordable housing, employment
The report urged collaborations between government, community groups, researchers and the business sector to develop and implement innovative models of affordable housing, particularly for older women.