Ending and Preventing Older Women's Experiences of Homelessness in Australia

Older, single women are increasingly vulnerable to housing stress, insecurity and homelessness. This submission by Homelessness Australia and the Equality Rights Alliance outlines what older women in Australia need to end and prevent homelessness, which includes increasing affordable accommodation and providing sufficient income. Our submission addresses Term of Reference b. v “measures [that] would provide women with access to adequate and secure retirement incomes.”

The cost of housing has a major impact on the financial security of women in retirement. Affordable housing establishes a base from which to secure income, freeing up income for other life essentials including food, healthcare and community activity. A growing body of research by academic and community groups has identified the causes and needs of older women experiencing homelessness.2 These have looked at the issue at the national, as well as local levels. The present submission is grounded in this literature, finding best practice methods for preventing and ending homelessness amongst this group of Australians.

In this submission, Homelessness Australia and Equality Rights Alliance propose evidencebased methods to address older women’s risk of experiencing homelessness in Australia.