Home Property Australia Retirement communities can shift dial in achieving housing targets

Retirement communities can shift dial in achieving housing targets

  • February 28, 2024
  • by Property Australia
Retirement Living Council Executive Directo Daniel Gannon

The Australian Government should include retirement communities as a key delivery component of achieving the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) target to build 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

The Retirement Living Council (RLC) has made this recommendation, along with others, as part of its submission to the Australian Government ahead of the May Budget.

RLC Executive Director Daniel Gannon said retirement communities can help shift the housing supply dial as Australia’s population continues to age.

“The Prime Minister’s 1.2 million new homes target is an admirably ambitious one, but retirement communities can help achieve this lofty goal as Australia ages,” Mr Gannon said.

“The added benefit is that retirement villages can delay entry into taxpayer funded aged care facilities through purpose-designed, happier and healthier communities,” he said.

Mr Gannon said the RLC is urging the Prime Minister to include retirement units – recognised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as official dwellings – in his government’s HAFF targets.

“Given the number of people aged over 75 is set to increase from two million to 3.4 million by 2040, government decision-making needs to facilitate and stimulate more supply – not hamper it,” Mr Gannon said.

“Recently released ABS national population figures found that with an annual growth rate of 6.6 per cent, the 75–79-year-old age group significantly out paces all other demographic cohorts.

“Between now and 2030, the retirement industry requires 67,000 homes to be built to meet existing levels of demand from older Australians. Of this amount, only 18,000 are currently planned.

“These 67,000 homes would represent six per cent of the 1.2 million new homes target, meaning retirement communities can help the government solve Australia’s housing supply problem,” he said.

A recent report by the RLC – Better Housing for Better Health – found retirement villages are helping save taxpayers almost $1 billion per annum by delaying entry of residents into aged care.

The report also revealed residents in retirement communities are 41 per cent happier, 15 per cent more physically active, they experience reduced levels of depression and loneliness, and are 20 per cent less likely to require hospitalisation after only nine months.