The Retirement Living Council (RLC) welcomes the Federal Government’s release of the Intergenerational Report as an important opportunity to focus on age-friendly communities as a key part of housing Australia’s rapidly ageing population.
The report states that the number of Australians aged 65 and older will double in the next 40 years, while the number of people aged 85 and older is set to triple, with these forecasted figures coming as the country currently faces an ongoing housing crisis.
RLC Executive Director Daniel Gannon said it was important for governments across the country to realise the valuable role retirement communities play in providing affordable housing options for older Australians.
“Retirement communities already play an important social and affordable role within the housing market, providing units that are on average 48 per cent cheaper than the median house price in the same postcode,” said Mr Gannon.
“Encouraging and facilitating more seniors into retirement communities carries the added benefit of freeing up traditional housing stock for singles, couples, new and growing families.
“If more seniors are living in age-friendly communities, there is also significant economic upside for state and federal governments through reduced interaction with the health system and delayed entry to aged care, while more houses become available in the traditional real estate market.
“Australia’s population is ageing, which means our three tiers of government need to address and solve the challenges associated with housing this demographic cohort now, which would then help ease the national housing crisis,” he said.
However, with the 2022 PwC/Property Council Retirement Census finding retirement villages are effectively at capacity nationwide and with a supply pipeline of new stock slowing down, Mr Gannon said focus needs to be on injecting supply into the market to meet growing demand.
“It’s been no secret that Australia’s population is ageing, but what is being done at local, state and federal levels to prepare for this transition?” Mr Gannon said.
“We have a market which actually provides an affordable housing option when few other affordable options remain, it’s effectively at full capacity, and yet barriers to building more are emerging.
“Given the decrease in the forecast supply pipeline and with legislative reviews that will affect the sector currently underway in five separate states, we urge caution to policymakers.”
About the RLC
The Retirement Living Council is the national leadership group for the retirement living sector, championing policies that deliver age-friendly homes and better services in retirement communities.
More than 260,000 senior Australians live in approximately 2,500 retirement communities across the country, with an over-65s market share of 6 per cent.
There are 4.4 million people around Australia aged over 65 today - this number will grow to 6.6 million by 2041.
Importantly, the sector generates almost $3.5 billion in annual savings to governments through reduced interaction with healthcare systems and delayed entry to aged care.
The RLC sits within the Property Council’s national advocacy team and is the most powerful voice of the sector, representing national retirement village and senior living community operators.