Concern at sharp rise in over-65s seeking somewhere to live
WOMEN aged 65 and over are in the midst of a housing crisis in Moreland. Latest data from housing provider VincentCare revealed an increase of more than 90 per cent in women above retirement age seeking housing support in the area.
In 2015-16, VincentCare served 42 women aged 65-plus at their Northern Community Hub in Glenroy, compared to about the same number for all of 2013-15.
Sixteen of these older women who presented last year were also homeless, with nowhere to sleep, compared to only eight women in the same age group between 2013 and 2015.
VincentCare Victoria chief executive John Blewonski said the figures “don’t lie” but he hoped it was just a one-off.
“This is clearly a significant rise and a concern,” Mr Blewonski said.
“But I wouldn’t predict a 90 per cent increase every year.”
He said the dramatic spike was due to a lack of affordable housing in Moreland and the buying of longterm rental homes.
Brunswick woman Pamela, aged in her 70s, has used housing providers since retiring five years ago. She said she was forced to use not-for-profit providers because there wasn’t enough public housing.
“You would hope older women would not be at risk of homelessness, but we are more and more,” she said. “There are many stories like mine.”
Socialist Alliance Party member and Moreland Council candidate Sue Bolton said while housing providers did an excellent job, there needed to be more State Government spending on public housing as Moreland continued to become unaffordable.
“The only solution to this crisis is an injection of funds into public housing, but we’re seeing the opposite,” Ms Bolton said. “We need to call on the State Government to make it a priority.”