Submission to Senate Inquiry into affordable housing

COTA Australia is the national policy vehicle of the eight State and Territory Councils on the Ageing (COTA) in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, ACT and the Northern Territory.

COTA Australia has a focus on national policy issues from the perspective of older people as citizens and consumers and it seeks to promote, improve and protect the circumstances and wellbeing of older people in Australia. Our submissions always incorporate the views of our members developed through various consultation mechanisms.

Access to affordable and appropriate housing is a key issue for older people, influencing their wellbeing, their capacity to continue to contribute and their choices about support and care as they age. Housing is a key component of the cost of living for older people, particularly for those who do not own their own homes.

The majority of older people are homeowners with around 78 per cent owning their home outright and another 6.5 per cent having a mortgage. There is some evidence from AHURI and others that home ownership is declining and the number of older people with a mortgage is increasing.

In this submission we have concentrated on the issues we believe are of particular relevance to older people. We look at the needs of older non home owners in both private and social rentals, the need for better homeless services, links with aged care, the link between home ownership and income in retirement.