Government Finally Facing up to Silver Tsunami

The State Government’s proposed Seniors Housing Strategy is a welcome initiative; however it needs to also provide a road map for policy reforms that will increase the availability of affordable and appropriate housing options for WA’s aging population,” Property Council WA Executive Director Lino Iacomella said.

“According to the Property Council’s Critical Needs in the Retirement Living Sector report, approximately 18,300 people currently reside in retirement villages in WA with this number predicted to increase to anywhere from 29,400 to 35,600 by 2026.”

“Based on these figures, the deficit in supply of retirement dwellings is forecast to triple over the next decade resulting in a shortfall of between 8,540 to 13,300 homes. In the immediate future, the shortfall in seniors housing is as much as 2500 units in the next two years.”

“Demand for retirement living places is out-stripping available supplies and urgent action by the State Government is needed to reduce red-tape and other limitations on the retirement living development industry.”

“A long-term seniors housing strategy could be the road map that government needs to meet the challenge of housing our aging population now and into the future. Key policy measures, that the Property Council’s retirement living sector is calling on to be included in any seniors housing strategy, include:

  • Reduce stamp duty costs for eligible seniors that are downsizing their housing needs.
  • Reform the WA Retirement Village Act to partially lift memorials on titles to allow mixed use development.
  • Reform strata laws to enable community titles so that villages can be developed with an inccreased mix of uses.
  • Increase the supply of seniors housing by introducing retirement living housing targets for local governments in State government planning instruments.
  • Introduce planning reforms to encourage the supply of well located retirement living options for our aging population
  • Amend the Residential Design Code to make is easier for existing retirement villages to increase the number of dwellings on their established sites.

“These measures will provide rapid support for the development of well- located and diverse retirement living options which will allow senior West Australians to live independent and happy lives close to family and friends.”

“The industry is hopeful that we can continue working closely with the State Government as we work together to combat the growing seniors housing crisis. Together we can ensure that the any seniors housing strategy goes to the heart of the issue and leads to solutions that meets the needs of all senior West Australians.”  

END

Notes to editors:

  1. The Property Council of Australia is the leading advocate for Australia’s biggest industry – property. The Property Council champions the interests of more than 2200 member companies that represent the full spectrum of the industry, including those who invest, own, manage and develop in all sectors of property, creating landmark projects and environments where people live, work, shop and play.Our industry represents one ninth of Australia's GDP (the largest of any sector), employs 1.1 million Australians (more than mining and manufacturing combined) and generates $72 billion in tax revenues to fund community services. In WA, the property industry employs 205,000 West Australians, generates $6.4 Billion in taxes and contributes $31. Billion to the economy.

     Media contact:  Lino Iacomella  |  M  0417 501 974   |   E  liacomella@propertycouncil.com.au