As Chair of the NSW government’s Ministerial Advisory Council of Ageing (MACA) and the state’s first government appointed Retirement Village Ambassador, Kathryn Greiner, last week gave a presentation to the Urban Development Industry Association (UDIA) NSW chapter last week.
Ms Greiner continued her theme that retirement village operators are jeopardising the future of the sector, arguing that operators ‘don’t get’ today’s consumers and the focus is on profit out of property rather than delivering genuine housing services to older Australians.
In the past she has regularly stated that if operators don’t change ‘you will be regulated out of existence’.
In her presentation she (again) argues, for example, that the average age of a village resident is 80 and the provision – and service charges – of swimming pools and gymnasiums is superfluous.
Customers are “not gonna take it anymore”!
Ms Greiner also questions whether retirement villages are a good idea whose time is over, pointing to technology, enhanced home care and downsizing options like apartments, can replace the village offering.
She says the opportunities ‘abound’ for the retirement village sector. She is also on the record to say that, in effect, it is one minute to midnight before governments will regulate the sector’s future.
Ms Greiner has told us that new regulations are being drafted now.
The additional challenge for the sector is historically other states follow NSW.