The crisis of homelessness among the elderly and social and affordable housing in general is an important issue for more than 80 per cent of voters as they prepare to cast their vote at the upcoming federal election, new polling from Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) shows.
There was agreement across the political spectrum with 75 per cent of people who intend to vote for the Liberal Party rating the issue as important, along with 91 per cent of Labor voters and 92 per cent of Greens voters.
There was significant concern for people's housing situation as they age.
Almost 93 per cent of respondents said it was important that older Australians have access to appropriate and affordable homes. One in four respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate or party who had committed to doing more to address the risks of older people losing their homes.
Key poll findings:
83% - of voters believe social and affordable housing is an important issue at the upcoming election
92.8% - believe it is important that older people are able to live in appropriate, affordable homes
65.8% - think the Federal Government has to do more to help older people experiencing homelessness
23.6% - more likely to vote for party or candidate addressing older people's housing
35.2% - knew of an older woman in their community struggling to afford rent
"Social and affordable housing is one of the most important issues in the minds of Australian voters at this election," said HAAG Executive Officer Fiona York.
"And it's no wonder. People are watching friends and family struggle to keep a roof over their heads, particularly as they age.
"The next government must act to ensure we have a National Housing Strategy so we have a plan to address this crisis, and build 25,000 new public, community and affordable homes every year for those who need them."
One in three of those polled knew an older woman who was struggling to afford rent.
"More than 405,000 women aged 45 and over are at risk of homelessness in Australia," Ms York said.
"One in three Australians know these women. They're our friends, mothers, grandmothers, and neighbours. They are at risk becoming homeless because we haven't built enough public, community and affordable housing, and we've let income support fall so low that they can't afford rent."
Housing for the Aged Action Group is the only Australian organisation specialised in the housing needs of older people.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.