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Although the NSW Ageing on the Edge Coalition welcomes the $6.6 billion investment in social housing and homelessness, we are extremely disappointed that the government could not find 0.08 per cent of this spending to support older people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in NSW.

The proposed program would be based on the Home at Last service, an evidence-based model that is already being delivered successfully in Queensland and Victoria. The program was costed at $5.6million over three years. It has the support of the sector and is backed by a business case as well as a Cost Benefit Analysis that showed savings to government. Every $1 spent on the service was found to save the government $2.30.

The Homelessness Amongst Older People Aged Over 55 in New South Wales inquiry endorsed the NSW Ageing on the Edge Coalition’s recommendation that the government fund a specialist older person’s housing information and support service comprising early intervention and crisis responses.

Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) convenes the NSW Ageing on the Edge Coalition, and Executive Officer Fiona York says the decision not to fund a service for older people in NSW is a bitter disappointment. The coalition consists of over 160 organisations, individual advocates, and people with lived experience working to address housing and homelessness among older people in NSW. Collectively, we have been working with various decision makers to deliver this service in NSW.

“This was a relatively modest measure, costed at just $5.6 million over three years, that would prevent hundreds of older people in NSW from entering homelessness and housing insecurity,” York says.

“Last year Home at Last, a similar service that we operate in Victoria, supported over 1200 older people in housing crisis.

“Older people face unique challenges and require a response tailored to them. It’s a bitter disappointment that this budget, like so many before it, has left older people in housing crisis behind.”

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