The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA), Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG), Justice Connect (Seniors Law) and Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria (RRVV), welcome the opportunity to contribute to the parliamentary inquiry into the retirement housing sector. Our respective organisations work both independently and jointly to further the interests of older Victorians across the full spectrum of retirement housing. As a coalition of both membership and non-membership based policy, advocacy and service delivery organisations we are well informed on the substantive issues the inquiry has been established to address.
The parliamentary inquiry represents a unique opportunity to progress much needed reform of Victoria’s retirement housing sector. There is an urgent need to address financial exploitation, raise retirement housing industry standards, and provide much needed access to justice for Victoria’s retirees. This need has never been greater, and will continue to grow as the population ages. Without structural reform now, the systemic issues we currently see will continue to worsen – leaving many vulnerable Victorians financially exposed, caught in unfair or unsuitable living arrangements, and without access to justice. Accordingly, we look forward to a full and thorough inquiry, widely consultative, providing the opportunity for a broad range of older Victorians to make their grievances heard.