I have been reading the 475-page Counsel Assisting final submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
It confirms in more detail our statement a few weeks ago that retirement villages can be in the box seat of new property developments for older Australians – if they want to.
You need an open mind but listen to this taken from pages 271 to 275:
“Across Australia, there is a need to improve access to accommodation in which people can grow older and, as necessary, receive aged care services.”
“More investment in and construction of well-designed, age-appropriate social and affordable housing is required. It will help to prevent people having to move into residential aged care prematurely….”
The report says all governments need to engage and free up the new development process…. It says:
“Overall, there is a need for coordinated intergovernmental policy, planning and action relating to housing and accommodation for Australia’s ageing population.”
“As a matter of priority, governments should work together to increase accessible housing, including private rental housing and social and affordable housing.”
The report then opens the door for Government funding assistance for residents, plus development planning concessions. It says:
“Measures to increase the supply of accessible private rental housing, such as government-funded occupancy supplements and planning concessions, should be explored.”
“That is so whether the accommodation is owner-occupied, privately rented, social and affordable housing…”
This last part sounds like retirement villages to me and extremely exciting.
But will the sector take up the opportunity and make it a reality?
Will ACSA, LASA and the Retirement Living Council come together to make the sector’s case?
In our opinion, their members must insist on it.