New measures help seniors make the right housing decisions

Older Queenslanders will have better support to stay in their homes and stay connected to their communities thanks to a range of measures announced today.

Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke today announced initiatives that will be put in place in response to the recommendations of the Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders report.

“Being able to choose where we live is something most of us take for granted,” she said.

“But as we get older a range of factors such as health needs, accessibility and support services can make the decision increasingly complex.

“People are often not planning early enough for retirement and their housing needs, and as a result housing decisions are often made at a time of crisis and are made in a hurry or are made by another family member.”

The Taskforce report outlines that Queensland’s ageing population will have significant implications for housing in Queensland in the future.

Mrs O’Rourke said that was why the Queensland Government had allocated $500,000 over two years to assist older people to make the right decisions about their housing options.

“A telephone help-line will provide seniors with information on housing options, ranging from home ownership to retirement villages to aged care,” she said.

“We will also run an awareness campaign to encourage people to plan for their housing future early.”

Annual roundtables with various stakeholders would also be held to bring together representatives from seniors groups, industry and academia to develop practical solutions to seniors housing issues.

Mrs O’Rourke said to get the community involved, housing innovation has also been a focus of the first round of the $1 million per annum for three years Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program.

“The 2017-18 round has recently closed and I am looking forward to announcing the successful projects,” she said.

The Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders report was handed to the Queensland Government last year.

Mrs O’Rourke said the Queensland Government had accepted the 21 recommendations made in the report.

“I’m proud that we will be supporting 18 recommendations and backing the remaining three in principle,” she said.

“The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni and I, and our respective departments, have worked closely together to support the Taskforce and ensure the Taskforce recommendations have been integrated into the Queensland housing Strategy.

“The recommendations seek to provide greater security for older renters, support seniors to independently plan and fund their housing, help individuals plan their ongoing housing transition needs, and improve the options for appropriate and affordable housing.”

“This work shows the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to seniors and complements the announcement yesterday about toughening consumer protection for seniors living in retirement villages as part of its new Housing Strategy 2017-2027.”

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