Go Salary
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Social Affairs

Affordable Housing Program for Older Women Launches


Tuesday, 29th November 2016 at 11:43 am
Ellie Cooper
Social housing provider Women’s Property Initiatives has launched a pilot program to support older, low-income women secure long-term housing, with the help of a $300,000 innovation grant.


Tuesday, 29th November 2016
at 11:43 am
Ellie Cooper


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Affordable Housing Program for Older Women Launches
Tuesday, 29th November 2016 at 11:43 am

Social housing provider Women’s Property Initiatives has launched a pilot program to support older, low-income women secure long-term housing, with the help of a $300,000 innovation grant.

The shared-ownership program takes a “different” and “innovative” approach to the supply of affordable housing, allowing older women with modest assets to enter into joint home ownership with Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI).

While they will continue to pay rent on a portion of the property, the cost is affordable, and the women’s investment and tenancy is secure.

WPI project and development manager Caroline Larcher said the pilot was targeting women not reached by services and, consequently, at risk of slipping through the cracks.

“We provide long-term housing for low-income women and children. To be eligible for our housing, people have to be not only on low income, but also have very limited assets, so not much money in the bank basically,” Larcher told Pro Bono Australia News.

“What we’ve identified is a significant number and a growing number of older women approaching retirement age who are on low incomes but actually have some assets and fall between the gaps a bit.

“So they don’t have enough money to get into home ownership on their own, but they have too much money to be eligible for any form of social housing.

“They’re sort of stuck in the private rental market and it’s really not meeting their needs because it doesn’t provide them with any sort of longer-term security… the private rental market is generally characterised by 12-month leases and even that, landlords can get out of if they wish, so there’s very little security of tenure, and rents are rising.”

WPI operates in Melbourne which, the latest Rental Affordability Index revealed, is the city with the greatest decline in affordability since 2013.

The $300,000 grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, to be delivered over two years, will allow WPI to build several homes for older women interested in shared equity housing.

Larcher said WPI said there was demand for the program.

“We’ve had some funding to do some research and really ensure that… there is a real problem that needs to be solved and that there’s genuine interest from people who fall into this category for some form of part ownership or shared ownership,” she said.

“It’s a shared equity product, but it’s not what’s generally understood by shared equity, which is basically getting into mortgages on a low threshold.

“We’re talking about older women who can’t access mortgages because they’ve either got little or no working life ahead of them, so really accessing a mortgage to pay off over a 30-year period is just not acceptable, they can’t do it.

“So what the Lord Mayor’s funding will do is for a pilot project so we can actually develop houses and enter into a shared equity arrangement with a small number of women.”

After the pilot WPI hopes to be able to roll the program out on a wider scale.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

The National Rental Affordability Scheme: In defence of a worthy program

Adrian Pisarski

Tuesday, 1st October 2019 at 8:31 am

Commonwealth wipes Tasmania’s housing debt

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 11th September 2019 at 5:31 pm

Own your financial future project

Contributor

Tuesday, 6th August 2019 at 7:30 am

Australia’s housing crisis is everyone’s problem

Olivia Killeen

Monday, 5th August 2019 at 3:42 pm

POPULAR

Our royal commission is not yet a safe place for people with disability

Emma Bennison

Wednesday, 6th November 2019 at 4:59 pm

Disability royal commission begins amid fears around support services

Luke Michael

Monday, 4th November 2019 at 12:58 pm

The toolbox set to democratise charity impact

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 31st October 2019 at 8:02 am

Mental health system failing vulnerable Aussies

Luke Michael

Friday, 1st November 2019 at 12:29 pm

Go Salary
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!