When we reach pension age, most of us would hope to have our housing sorted, but the reality is that 42 per cent of senior Australians are struggling.
This week is WA Seniors Week and a new report by peak housing body Shelter WA has shown there’s a growing risk of homelessness and “extreme” housing-related stress among the ageing population.
More people of retirement age are still paying off a mortgage when they retire than ever before – 42 per cent.
“After a lifetime of working, raising families and caring for others, housing stress will be an unforeseen problem for many in their senior years,” the report says.
Those most at risk of homelessness were those living in rental properties as an average single age pensioner in rental accommodation would fall $12 short of meeting their food, rent and living expenses each week.
Shelter WA executive officer Chantal Roberts said housing was crucial for people to stay health and engaged in the community as they aged, so the report reinforced the need for a State seniors housing strategy, reports Yahoo.
She said the report should serve as a reminder to everyone – not just seniors – of the need to consider their long-term housing choices to avoid this type of stress in their later years.
“However, without systemic intervention from all levels of Government, this report finds that housing stress for many older … Australians will be inevitable,” Ms Roberts said.
The report outlines a need for a national affordable housing strategy and more diversity in affordable seniors housing options.
“An increase in the supply of social and affordable housing and specialised tenancy support services for seniors would have a positive impact at a local level,” the report says.
Tell us, has paying your mortgage been a struggle? Do you fear what will happen in the future? What should be done to help seniors that are having a difficult time?