Vic Govt releases 15 recommendations to reform village sector – and calls for new Ombudsman

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Released last week, the report by the Legal and Social Issues Committee makes a number of recommendations aimed at both the Government and the sector itself including:

  • Changing planning provisions to encourage more retirement housing, including the establishment of Retirement Housing Zones;
  • Requiring village operators to publish ingoing fees with and without deferred management fees; and requiring that DMF’s are paid on a pro rata basis and residents provided with an estimate of their exit fee every FY;
  • Allowing the Govt to make provisions for village operators to pay either the RAD or DAP for residents going into aged care until their unit is sold;
  • Introducing mandatory accreditation for retirement village managers;
  • Improving the legal advice currently available to retirees;
  • Reviewing the Retirement Villages Act 1986.The report also recommends introducing a “low cost, timely and binding” dispute resolution process, either through a new body or the existing Ombudsman.“Too often residents face a long and expensive road to resolve disputes, at a time in their lives when this is especially difficult,” Committee Chair Margaret Fitzherbert said.

    Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody has told the ABC some residents can “die waiting for justice” as the disputes drag on.

    The recommendations follow an extensive 12-month Inquiry that received about 800 submissions.
    The Govt now has six months to respond.

    You can download the full report here.