‘Age friendly communities’ to the fore as Retirement Living Council bids to influence Canberra

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The Retirement Living Council wishes to change the language of retirement villages, channelling the new label ‘age friendly communities’.

M-L MacDonald (pictured below), President of the Retirement Living Council, and Ben Myers (main picture), the Council’s Executive Director, both used the term “age friendly communities” at its national conference on the Gold Coast last week.

“The term “age friendly communities” helps us better communicate what a retirement village, land lease community or rental village actually does,” Ben told The SOURCE.

“When we are in Canberra and use one of those terms, the mindset of the politician or public servant immediately goes to it’s a state or territory responsibility. Using the term “age friendly communities” changes that mind set.

“It takes us out of the consumer protection debate.”

Villages are regulated by state and territory legislation and the Retirement Living Council finds this is the mindset of politicians and public servants in Canberra.

The Retirement Living Council is proactively seeking changes to regulations at a federal level to help address the issue of the ‘missing middle’, a term used for single women without sufficient funds for real housing.

Its report “Retirement living – A solution for older women at risk of homelessness” has eight recommendations, including offering a minimum 400 village homes for the “missing middle” in the first year. It seeks the removal of the Commonwealth Government’s home ownership proxy indicator for residents on a loan lease or loan licence contract and, access for residents to use Commonwealth home care funds.

“We are trying to give Federal Government a better understanding of what we actually do: provide age friendly housing; access to the community and access to care,” said Ben.