Retirement village sector under attack – how are the peak bodies responding?

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While Aveo has been the focus of the Fairfax/Four Corners retirement village exposé, the inflamed media messaging has been that the retirement village sector and business model itself is broken. All villages and village operators are being drawn into the fire.

What are the peak representative bodies saying or doing?

Ben Myers, Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council (pictured left), reports that key decision-makers in government have already been reached out to and meetings organised to discuss “myths that have been aired”. The RLC has already spoken to the ACCC.

He identifies the need for industry to focus on core messages on what it stands for and what it provides so that government stakeholders understand the model and that residents are satisfied.

Pat Sparrow, CEO at Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) (pictured centre) says “good business and secure, happy living arrangements for older Australians should not be mutually exclusive”.

“The not-for-profit sector operates a significant number of retirement villages in Australia, providing accessible housing for low-to-moderate income earners with their lower upfront fees and weekly rental.

They are a significant part of the suite of housing options available to accommodate retirees’ needs.

Most providers of retirement villages have residents’ best interests at heart”.

“ACSA members believe Australians choosing to live in retirement villages are entitled to contracts that are clear and transparent, and communicate rights and obligations in plain English.

We also support ensuring existing consumer protections assist residents where, and when, any problems occur.”

Sean Rooney, CEO of Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) (pictured right), reports that “given Minister Wyatt’s recent announcement regarding Federal Government interest in retirement village regulation, we have moved swiftly to brief the Minister on regulation issues in retirement villages. This has opened a dialogue between Government and LASA retirement village members exploring issues around regulation, village operation and contracting practices”.

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