People who live in private rental whilst living on the age pension find themselves incredibly vulnerable; it's expensive and Australia's rental laws provide little if any security of tenure. The Fix Pension Poverty team are campaigning for an increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help people living on the age pension who are really struggling with day-to-day costs of living associated with renting, but housing is a complex issue and clearly there's so much to do.
An important role for the Fix Pension Poverty campaign is to highlight the work of others in the areas that we are advocating, so we would like to introduce you to Ageing on the Edge.
Last week we attended the release of their report into rental affordability for older tenants in NSW. We were shocked, but not surprised, to hear that the number of older people at risk of homelessness in NSW has jumped by 50 per cent. Not only that, but this is a national problem and needs all Governments working together to fix it.
The Australian Senate subsequently passed a motion put by NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon calling on the government to raise real levels of funding for homelessness services and social housing, work with stakeholders to ensure the specific needs of older people are addressed in National Housing and Homelessness Agreement negotiations with states, and review the Commonwealth Assistance with Care and Housing Program to ensure it is meeting the needs of Australia’s ageing population.
Whilst this is great momentum, it can easily fall apart if Governments decide that housing for older Australians is not their priority. The Ageing on the Edge team are asking for help to get the NSW Government follow the leadership of the Australian Senate.
We're asking you, as a supporters of the Fix Pension Poverty campaign, to assist this campaign to get more housing and more housing support for older Australians facing homelessness. You can follow this link to send a message to the Hon. Pru Goward, NSW Minister for Social Housing, as well as the Hon. Tanya Davies, NSW Minister for Ageing to urge them to respond to the Ageing on the Edge report.