The NSW Government has committed to a decade-long ageing strategy for the state including living in age-friendly environments – but they appear to have missed the value of retirement living.
The 36-page ‘Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021-2031’ identifies four areas of focus: living in age-friendly environments; participating in inclusive communities; staying safe, active and healthy; and being resilient and informed.
Five, two-year action plans have also been developed to keep the framework on track, setting out activities and initiatives to be delivered, including those focusing on older people in vulnerable groups.
But while the section on age-friendly environments outlines strategies to address homelessness, social housing and Aboriginal housing, there is no mention of retirement villages.
The report does state: “The Housing Planning Policy business is assisting the regional teams in their review of council draft local strategic planning statements (LSPS) to ensure the draft LSPS identify actions relating to supply of housing in meeting the future needs of the local community, including actions and opportunities for seniors housing.”
However, there does not appear to be any direct support for initiatives to increase the supply of villages and land lease communities.
It is also worth noting that the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA) is led by Chair, Kathryn Greiner AO, who also led the NSW Government’s inquiry into retirement villages and is the Government’s designated Retirement Village Ambassador.
“We’re creating communities where older people are respected and supported, especially in areas like flexible working and affordable housing,” she said.
Surely that should include retirement housing?
You can download the strategy here.