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Ageing on the Edge Queensland Report


Debbie Faulkner and Kobi Maglen


This research has found that there are many older renters struggling and doing without the daily essentials of life such as food, heating, medications and aged care to ensure they keep a roof over their head. They are a hidden group that are putting up with enormous hardship while constantly under the stress. As one older woman interviewed said ‘It’s the fear of what if (I lose my housing)?’ Older women who have experienced gender disadvantage are particularly impacted.

Some of the key points from the report are:

  • There has been a 43% increase in homelessness for people aged 65-74 in Queensland between 2011-2016 censuses, the biggest jump in homelessness of any age group
  • Trends in homelessness for older women aged 65-74 were even worse with a 56% increase Over 32,000 Queenslanders aged 65 and over were in housing stress paying more than 30% of
    their income in rent in housing that is insecure, unaffordable and not adaptable as they age
  • This represents a significant 43% increase between 2011-2016
  • 11,700 or 36% of the total, were in extreme housing stress paying more than 50% of their income in rent and doing without essentials such as food, medications, heating and cooling
  • 32% of those in extreme housing stress were aged 75 or over and particularly vulnerable
  • Older people in rental stress are distributed widely across Brisbane and regional Queensland

What are the solutions? Among 11 report recommendations two key actions are needed:

  • Significant increases in social housing to adequately respond to an ageing population. This must include a program to succeed the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) that is soon to
    expire and may cause mass evictions of vulnerable tenants, including many older people
  • Develop for the first time in Queensland, specialist older people’s services to help older people navigate their way out of homelessness and housing poverty

We strongly encourage the Queensland government to incorporate the key recommendations from this report in their current Housing Strategy and urgently implement them. The Federal Government must also support the Queensland Government in these initiatives as it has a central role in the funding and provision of affordable housing and responses to homelessness.

Debbie Faulkner debbie.faulkner@adelaide.edu.au , Kobi Maglen kobi.maglen@oldertenants.org.au

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