Housing Must be Safer for Elderly: Vic Council

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Cooke, D. ‘Calls for Housing to be Safer for the Elderly,’ The Age, July 2008, p. 6.

A quarter of Victoria’s housing stock could be designed for elderly or people with a disability by 2031 under a plan by the Victorian Council of Social Service. The council is calling for changes to planning laws after what it said was a “failure” by the State Government to act on the housing needs of a rapidly ageing population.

Under the VCOSS proposal, “universal housing” principles such as wide corridors, no-step entry and open-plan living areas would be incorporated into at least 25 percent of all housing. “Our argument is that when you’ve got a quarter of the population over the age of 65 and increasingly a larger group in the community who are mobility-impaired… you could save millions in hospital bed days just by having people live in spaces where they are less likely to fall over,” VCOSS chief executive Cath Smith said.

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