Housing advice line expands reach

Friday, 28th July, 2017

The service is open to all Victorians in caravan and residential parks and villages, retirement villages and rental villages.

HOUSING for the Aged Action Group has set up a dedicated advice service for retirement housing residents.

A four-year funding commitment from Consumer Affairs Victoria means the group can expand its Retirement Housing Infor­mation Service.

As a result, the group’s retirement housing worker Shanny Gordon has been joined by two others to provide information, advice and advocacy for retirement housing residents.

“Our reach is now bigger and the eligibility criteria have been eased,” Ms Gordon said.

“The expansion means we can assist more residents and dedicate more time to policy and working for law reform.

“We deal with all sorts of things, but disputes, fees and charges, contracts in all their complexity, residents having issues with management and fearing they can’t exercise their rights are the most common issues.”

With the state government considering its response to last year’s Parliamentary Inquiry into Retirement Housing, and a response due in September, Ms Gordon said the group would continue to pressure for change.

She said adopting the recommendations, which include an alternative dispute resolution process such as an ombudsman, simpler contracts, better training and regulation for operators, and a review of the Retirement Villages Act 1886, would deliver a much fairer system for residents.

“The legislation has to be improved and there are things the government can do now to make that happen,” Ms Gordon said.

The retirement housing advice service is open to people throughout Victoria living in caravan and residential parks and villages, retirement villages and rental villages.

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