Independent living units: clarifying their current and future role as an affordable housing option for older people with low assets and low incomes

Ageing Aged care Housing Community housing Social housing Australia
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Public and community housing as options for older people with relatively low assets and low incomes are well documented. However, other not-for-profit organisations also provide housing for this group. Organisations within the aged care sector provide what are commonly known as Independent Living Units (ILUs). They largely operate outside the realm of State Housing Authorities and the current housing framework being established for community housing funded through the CSHA.

Most of these organisations and the stock they manage developed as the result of subsidies provided by the Commonwealth government between 1954 and 1986 under the Aged Persons’ Homes Act (APHA). It is now nearly 50 years since the first ILUs and nearly 20 years since the last ILUs were constructed, thus the core of the stock is fairly old. Anecdotal evidence indicates that much of it is in need of upgrading or redevelopment. Housing standards, management practices, lifestyles and attitudes towards older people have changed considerably in the last half century.

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