Monday, 7 November 2016
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said a Seniors Housing Strategy was a critical step towards helping seniors - or 'last homebuyers' - on low-to-moderate incomes to age well in their community.
"Helping seniors to transition to appropriate housing is vital for a more enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle in older age - while potentially freeing up housing for the next generation," he said.
"Last homebuyers are just as important as first homebuyers, but for too long this group has been overlooked.
"Despite the excellent work of the retirement living sector, the housing market is not keeping up with the demands of the ageing population. The Liberal National Government is committed to developing a Seniors Housing Strategy to complement our highly successful Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020."
Mr Grylls said developing a Seniors Housing Strategy required collaboration and consultation, as many of the necessary policy changes and actions were outside of Government.
"We have met with seniors, the seniors housing sector, private industry and local government and what I am hearing is that seniors want to retire in the community they belong to, provided they are connected to services and transport," he said.
"They want to downsize, but have difficulty finding suitable options that are affordable. Some are open to shared living arrangements, provided the design of the house is right. Seniors are a very diverse group with a broad range of housing needs - just like the rest of the population - so they need the choice and diversity in housing options to cater for those needs."
Based on the consultation to date, the Housing Authority has developed a discussion paper that seeks responses from key stakeholders across industry, the community services sector and Government to identify the major issues, barriers and potential solutions.
Seniors and Volunteering Minister Paul Miles encouraged Government agencies, private industry, and the seniors housing and community services sectors to help develop solutions.
"If we do not create affordable and appropriate housing options to accommodate WA's ageing population, the costs of public housing, health care and home modifications for seniors will continue to rise," Mr Miles said.
Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, December 16, 2016.
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