Retirement Housing Inquiry makes costly recommendations

The Property Council says the recommendations contained in a new report on retirement housing released today would have a harmful effect on retirement village operators and residents alike if implemented.

“It is pleasing the report recognises the impediments to the growth of the retirement living and seniors housing sector, which helps senior Victorians to live independently for longer,” said Property Council Victorian Executive Director, Sally Capp.

“As the report states, the clear majority of retirees have a very positive experience in retirement villages, but without growth of appropriate housing stock, future retirees may be unable to access age appropriate housing.

“We also support the Inquiry’s recommendation to ease the financial burden of residents moving to aged care; it strikes a fair balance between the interests of operators and residents.

“However some of the Committee’s recommendations will add red tape – or in this case, ‘grey tape’ – that will increase the cost of living for seniors.

“We believe village residents need an advocate to represent their interests; an ombudsman process can be both costly and intimidating which can determine the number of residents accessing the service. There are also many resident benefits and protections that are not widely understood or being utilised.

“While we support the Committee’s objectives, many of the recommendations will add to residents’ costs without delivering a commensurate benefit.

“We look forward to working with Government and tackling some of the difficult issues in their response to this report,” said Ms Capp.

Media contact: Sally Capp | M 0439 983 693 | E scapp@propertycouncil.com.au