“In our community there are a number of people who are over 55 years and who are renting because they are on low incomes.”

Ruth Hosking is a volunteer with the City of Greater Bendigo Positive Aging Advisory Group, the Bendigo Uniting Church Social Justice Group, and is a passionate advocate for older people who face housing insecurity.  “There are many vulnerable older people in Bendigo who live with housing insecurity,” Ruth explains.

Housing insecurity is a real issue in Bendigo for older people with lower incomes who don’t own their own home.  They rent homes that are in a price range that are more likely to be sold, and then they are asked to vacate.  “This is a real worry for older people as their home can go on the market at any time and they feel insecure until they know what the owner is going to do.”

Ruth explains “Many women are in this situation who are nearing or over 60 years of age don’t have an income to build an asset over their head.  They are of a generation who had less opportunity to work, and some did not have the opportunity to establish superannuation benefits.”

There are limited housing options available to lower income older people for a variety of reasons. Ruth spoke about the gap in housing due to the Department of Human Services stepping out of providing housing in the 1980 -90s and relying on the private market to supply housing. Private retirement villages are not affordable to many as they require an unaffordable entry purchase fee to gain entry to these facilities.

“My next step is to approach retirement village owners and find out if it is possible to rent a home, without requiring a large deposit.”

Ruth will be speaking about her vision to provide stable and affordable housing for older people in Bendigo at “Outside the Square Homes for Change” on Thursday the 25th of June. Join in the conversation and share solutions for our future housing needs in our community