Risk of homelessness for single, older women is becoming a significant problem. In 2016 the Women's Property Initiative revealed that 34 per cent of single women over 60 live in permanent income poverty and by age 65, women retire with about one third of the superannuation that men accumulate. It takes older job seekers longer to get back into the workforce, so single, older women who do not own a home are likely to deplete their meagre superannuation and/or other savings, paying high rents, while they search for work. Groups other than single, older women are usually given priority for public or community housing, and boarding houses are seen as unsafe for single women.
The Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon. Dr Kay Patterson is working with the property and finance industries, government departments, housing organisations and others interested in developing a suite of innovative solutions to assist this rapidly growing group of women.