MEDIA RELEASE: COTA National Policy Forum to tackle housing security

The 2017 COTA National Policy Forum will place the spotlight on the housing needs of older Australians covering current policy issues and future trends surrounding housing provision and affordability.

The Policy Forum will be held on Thursday 22 June 2017 at the National Press Club, Canberra. Key speakers include:

  • Professor John Daley, CEO, Grattan Institute
  • Dr Ian Winter, Executive Director, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
  • Honorary Associate Professor Judith Yates, School of Economics, University of Sydney,
  • Mr Jeff Fiedler, National Development Manager, Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG)
  • Mr Paul McBride, Group Manager, Welfare and Housing Reform, Department of Social Services
  • Professor Greg Tegart AM FTSE, a leading advocate for smart assistive technologies for aged and disabled

CEO of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, said this year’s National Policy Forum is an opportunity to get to the heart of what housing means to people in later life and to investigate new policies options to address the housing affordability crisis and get housing security right for older Australians.

“It’s absolutely crucial we consider what older people need and want in their housing. Home ownership is declining and we are seeing a growing proportion of older Australians still carrying a mortgage into retirement or who may become lifelong renters.

“We are dealing with a vastly different economic landscape than 10 years ago and policy makers must come up to speed with the key issues and trends in housing for older Australians, including re-­‐evaluating assumptions about home ownership that underpin pension policy.

Forum Keynote Speaker, John Daley, CEO of the Grattan Institute, warns storm clouds are on the horizon for an increasing number of older Australians, who will be looking to rent, rather than owning a home outright.

“Retirees who rent increasingly rely on private rental rather than social housing. While the Commonwealth Government does provide them some rental assistance there is growing concern that some households in private rental face difficulties in making ends meet.”

Other important housing issues to be addressed at the National Policy Forum include the growing incidence of homelessness amongst older people (particularly women), the implications for age pensioners of unaffordable rental properties in the cities, difficulties associated with downsizing, the need for houses to meet the physical needs of people as they age and new models of housing that meet the needs of a diverse older population.

To learn about these key housing issues and more, you can book your place at the Forum here:

For further information visit or download the event flyer

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Bronte Kerr 0411 676 269

COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.