Older Women Lost to Housing

Equitable access to safe, secure, affordable, appropriate housing

O.W.L’s lobby’s for equitable access to safe, secure, affordable, appropriate housing. The opportunity for O.W.L’s to experience optimal health and wellbeing as valued member of their community supports social justice.  

Single women over the age of 45 who do not or will not own their own home by retirement have been identified by Sharam, (2010) as the “new face of homelessness”. This could be your grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, niece – anyone.

AND they are here – in your community – hidden!

Older Women Network (OWN, 2016) Age discrimination commissioner Susan 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”. ­­­

ACT Political Candidates – are in the unique position of being able to reform the challenges facing O.W.L’s.

  The landmark report by ACT Shelter, Home Truths Older Women’s Housing Vulnerability, (2014) recommendations include;

  • Fund a specialised service to provide gendered tenancy advice and support to O.W.L’s
  • Implement an advocacy campaign raising awareness of the issues and preventative measures
  • Develop a range of long term affordable housing options
  • Implement policy that will enable older women access to security of tenure, affordable housing and aging in place

Ruffin, (2015) supports a whole of government and community approach as, “sustainability is founded in the connection of systems”.

The housing crisis for O.W.L’s is a social, health and economic problem. Realistic solutions are achievable with implementation of smart policy by decision makers.

Collaboration between government, community groups, researchers and the business sector to develop and implement innovative models of affordable housing, for older women will ensure the lives of these women in our community have the opportunity to flourish.