The Seniors Housing Strategy (the Strategy) is being developed as a companion piece to the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020 and the Aiming Higher 2015-2020 Action Plan, which aim to deliver at least 30,000 housing options by 2020. The Strategy will provide a framework for collaborative action across sectors and identify accompanying initiatives to:
enable older Western Australians on low to moderate incomes to have and sustain available, affordable and appropriate housing, post-retirement age, so they can age well in their community.
The main focus of the Strategy will be on improving access to affordable and appropriate housing for current seniors who are on low to moderate incomes and have limited access to assets. This includes people who have already retired and people aged 55 years and over who are approaching retirement.
Consultation to date has informed the development of a framework which outlines the key drivers, guiding principles and proposed aims of the Strategy: (please click on the graphic for a larger version)
On 7 November 2016 the Housing Authority released a Discussion Paper for input from state and local government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and private sector companies that have an interest in the housing needs of older Western Australians.
The Discussion Paper consultation process has now closed. Sixty two submissions were received presenting a wide range of views. Respondents broadly supported the five core challenges presented in the Paper; Downsizing, Better Design, Affordability, Regional Communities and Understanding Options. Respondents offered a range of suggestions for addressing these challenges. Housing is now developing the Seniors Housing Strategy based on feedback received.
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Seniors Housing Advisory Centre (SHAC)
The Seniors Housing Advisory Centre (SHAC) is a free, independent information and advice service covering the full range of housing options for seniors in WA. It is delivered by the Department of Commerce in partnership with the COTA WA. The SHAC does not directly offer housing, or provide financial and legal advice, but can be an invaluable source of information for seniors and their families.
For more information on the many housing options available; from modifying or redeveloping existing homes to renting or moving into a strata titled community, a residential park or retirement village, see the Seniors Housing Advisory Centre (SHAC) web page.
The Housing Authority, with the assistance of Shelter WA, the Council on the Ageing (COTA WA) and Aged & Community Services Western Australia (ACSWA), has conducted many consultation sessions throughout 2016 with state and local government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and private industry. A list of the organisations consulted so far is available at Appendix 1 of the Discussion Paper.
Throughout 2016, Shelter WA has facilitated an organisational stakeholder forum, several metropolitan and regional seniors’ morning teas and an online seniors survey.
To view Shelter WA’s full reports from the consultation they have conducted on our behalf, please view them at: www.shelterwa.org.au/seniorshousing.