Will Budget hit housing home run, or swing and miss?

The national peak body for retirement and seniors’ housing accommodation is repeating its calls for improved conditions to unlock more age-friendly housing supply ahead of this week’s Budget.

“Australian Governments past and present have known about our nation’s rapidly changing demographic landscape for years, alongside the associated challenges with accommodation and care,” Retirement Living Council (RLC) Executive Director Daniel Gannon said.

The RLC made five key recommendations to the government in its pre-budget submission earlier this year, including making retirement units part of the Prime Minister’s target to build 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

“Every day that passes without seniors’ housing accommodation being recognised in these targets is a big ‘swing and miss’ for the Australian Government when they should be looking for a home run,” Mr Gannon said.

“Targets are an important way out of this supply mess – but only if they’re complete,” he said.

Recently, the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council (NHSAC) forecast that the government will fall short of its target by nearly 300,000 homes.

“If the Australian Government is looking for inspiration, look no further than the State of the Housing System report released by the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council recently,” Mr Gannon said.

“It sings the virtues of rightsizing, highlights the housing risks associated with an ageing population, outlines the benefits of retirement communities, and flags that an older population will require more in-home care and support services – typically found in retirement villages.

“As it stands, units in retirement communities aren’t recognised in these housing targets, but the group tasked with delivering them is spruiking their many and varied benefits.

“In order to maintain existing market demand, the retirement living industry requires 67,000 units to be built by 2030.

“This would represent 22 per cent of the gap identified by the NHSAC, meaning retirement communities – containing units that are 48 per cent more affordable than comparable homes – can help the government solve Australia’s housing supply problem,” he said.

View the RLC’s full pre-Budget submission here.

/Public Release. View in full here.