Age Discrimination Commissioner: Older women at risk of homelessness

A report released yesterday by Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson details the growing number of women over 55 facing homelessness. Older women are the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians, with numbers increasing by 31% over 5 years.

The report, title ‘Older Women’s Risk of Homelessness: Background Paper’ highlighted the housing crisis facing ageing women. Engagement across all sectors is key in combating homelessness. Dr Patterson calls on the Australian government, property and finance industries and housing organisations to take action, develop solutions and generate discussion around this issue. The commissioner emphasised that she is “focusing on preventative solutions to assist this cohort of women”.

“Many of the services currently available focus on women with complex needs—those experiencing family violence or mental health issues, or who have exhausted their savings and their informal support options. Limited services are available for older women who are renting, working and have modest savings. The moment they are unable to work and pay their rent, they are likely to be homeless” she said.

For the full report see

Sonja Duncan