Women over 60 the new face of Queensland homelessness, agency warns

Women over 60 are becoming the new high-risk group for homelessness as Queensland struggles to make up the shotfall caused by 49,000 fewer social houses being built since 2006.

That is one key new issue emerging from a full-day homelessness and poverty workshop hosted by Queensland social welfare agency Micah Projects this week.

The workshop was told that, nationally, 34 per cent of single women over 60 lived in permanent income poverty, compared to 27 per cent of single older men and 24 per cent of couples.

The poverty line for a single adult pensioner is $414.11 per week, according to the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics latest research.

“That is largely because they don’t have access to superannuation,” Micah Projects chief executive Karyn Walsh said.

“So the inequality on a gender basis is there and it is growing.

“Also, family relationships break down, or they become widows and, at an older age, this has consequences.”