In late 2017 the Mercy Foundation brought together a National Working Group consisting of housing and homelessness policy leaders, researchers and practitioners to examine national policies that need change and advocate for more effective strategies so that older women can access affordable, safe, secure and appropriate housing and enjoy good health as they age. This paper presents a summary of the work of that group, identifies the core issues and the key policy areas that require attention. The document outlines a national agenda for action.
Many of the issues associated with housing insecurity and homelessness are State/Territory government responsibilities. These include public and community housing; building and zoning responsibilities; funding crisis services as well as secondary and tertiary health care, including community health and mental health services. These issues are best raised at the State/Territory level and the National Working Group has restricted its work and advocacy to the specific issues that are the responsibility of the federal government for national action. These include national legal frameworks; superannuation and wage equity; aged care and primary health care services.