One of the most pressing challenges older Australians face is finding secure accommodation with suitable amenities. And as the numbers of older Australians grow, the pressure to provide housing that meets their needs is increasing. We may be facing a crisis of ageing homelessness in coming years.
A report from Mission Australia has called on all levels of government to act immediately on the critical shortage of appropriate housing and support services for older Australians at risk of homelessness.
A look at the trajectory of Australia’s ageing population gives a clear sense of the urgency of this issue. Today, 16% of our population is over 65 years of age. By 2101, 25% of Australians are likely to be over 65. People over 55 already make up around 17% of the homeless population – and this figure is likely to grow.
Affordable housing and related aged care services are already in short supply. Evidence of this is the increasing numbers of older homeless people seeking help from specialised homeless services.