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Melbourne housing affordability plummets, women hit hardest


The Age


Caitlin Fitzsimmons and Noel Towell


The price of a typical house in Melbourne has multiplied by 22 in the past 40 years, almost four times faster than wages, with advocates warning that women were bearing the brunt of the affordability crisis.

People over 55, especially women, were one of the fastest-growing groups of homeless people in the 2016 census, and people aged 55 to 64 are one of the biggest cohorts on unemployment benefits.

Jeanette Large, chief executive of Women’s Property Initiatives, a Victorian not-for-profit that helps house homeless and at-risk women, said many older women had some assets, making them ineligible for social or public housing but unable to get a mortgage because of their age.

Ms Large said more and more women would find themselves in a housing crisis as more members of the baby boom generation hitting retirement age.

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