The housing crisis destroying the lives of single older women

The single older woman who doesn’t own her own home is one of the most at-risk groups.

Single older women at risk

The single older woman who doesn’t own her own home has become one of the most at-risk groups in Australia due to the rising cost of rent and the lack of jobs for older Australians.

The situation for older women has worsened in recent years with instances of homelessness increasing year on year. Couch surfing among older women has almost doubled over the past four years and there has been a similar rise in the number of older women sleeping in cars, a report by Homelessness Australia has found.

"The loss of a relationship, not sufficient superannuation to fall back on as an individual and not owning your home getting towards the point of retirement … your income has no chance paying for a rental in the current environment," Homelessness Australia CEO Jenny Smith said.

A study published in the Journal of Rural Studies looked at a group of 47 older women who do not own homes in regional New South Wales. Nearly all of the 47 women lived on low incomes, and their housing ranged from hotel rooms to makeshift sheds to rundown flats. Only two of the 47 participants had never had a partner and 43 participants had borne children.

When asked about their housing priorities, there was a universal desire for privacy, stability and security, as most participants had very disrupted housing histories. While some of the group were against shared housing, nearly all the women wanted some sort of garden and a space to accommodate their grandchildren and pets.

“If the housing problems that many single, older women experience are to be solved, housing policymakers need to be informed by research about what makes these women's lives meaningful and productive,” said Southern Cross University lecturer Yvonne Hartman.

What do you think? Does more need to be done to combat homelessness in Australia? Do we need to implement strategies towards helping single older women, in particular?

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    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    24th Oct 2017
    11:34am
    carers are another group facing homelessness when their caring days are over no superannuation etc. ( Can I copy this item to send out ) ?
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    10:42am
    Good point - unless they are lucky, there is no real outcome without inheriting. I am now a carer, having re-built (yet again) from my homeless time (see below) - but at least I have a stake in the home and a little bit in life of value, and will not suffer that illness.

    How does a single carer get enough to pay for rented accommodation these days? Maybe it's time to bring down the house of cards called serial housing investment for profit, and re-build the paradigm on housing.

    As I've pointed out elsewhere - all the things that are being dumped on this nation now are exactly the reasons for revolutions. including the NAZI one - and the imposition of a controlled economy and such. Not convinced that is a good thing, so maybe it's time for a little voluntary contribution back to this nation from those who are ripping it off for their own benefit ... before the tumbrils roll and the guillotine is greased....
    jackie
    24th Oct 2017
    11:46am
    Australia needs to follow NZ. They are cutting back on immigration, banning property, land sales to overseas. They acknowledge that is the cause behind their inflated property and rental market to fix their homeless problem. This will never happen here because most of our politicians are negatively geared up to the hilt.
    Anonymous
    24th Oct 2017
    2:47pm
    Bravo! I couldn't agree more. We need to stop ALL immigration, beginning with Muslims, Chinese and Indians.
    MjP
    24th Oct 2017
    5:18pm
    Thank you Jackie, I believe you are spot on.
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:13pm
    You're right, Jackie, there's no shame in saying that we've taken in as many refugees as we can take and we can't take any more.
    ray from Bondi
    24th Oct 2017
    12:05pm
    Governments do not care, just do not tough the trough, commercial TV is only interested in presenting trivia as news, and the only other medium that may have broadcast the plight of disadvantaged and unempowered is the ABC but that has been systematically strangled starting with Hawk and the labor government.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    10:44am
    Spot on, Ray.
    Knight Templar
    24th Oct 2017
    12:25pm
    It is estimated that on a given night approximately 105,000 people will be homeless in Australia. Fifty-six percent of homeless people on census night were male and 44 percent were female. Clearly, there are many reasons for homelessness, debt, disability, unemployment, addiction, poverty and being forced out of the marital home.
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:15pm
    the unfortunate thing is that, for some reason, we have started to accept homelessness and homeless people as a normal part of life.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    10:45am
    When you ARE a big chunk of the dirty Third World, the beggars are some of the scenery .........
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    12:45pm
    I don't know why this study focused on women , I guess there's more money for women's issues. More men are homeless than women. The issues around the high cost of rental accommodation will only get worse especially if changes to negative gearing are implemented. Less rental properties , less profit in renting properties means higher rents. If your on a pension that's bad news, getting work at 70 is almost impossible , so you will run out of options.
    Kaye Fallick
    24th Oct 2017
    1:15pm
    Hi Tib, thanks for your feedback and yes, you highlight many other important & related factors. The survey may have focussed on the female situation as it is older women who form the cohort whose numbers are increasing most rapidly when it comes to homelessness. warmest
    Kaye
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    1:32pm
    Kaye I think it's an important issue , a situation that will get worse ,I just don't think it's a gender issue. I think divorced women do well in the divorce but long term they don't do well which means more homeless women than there has been. But they still are not at the same rates as men and not everything is a gender issue.
    Puglet
    24th Oct 2017
    2:10pm
    What about.... is tiresome. I doubt you read the article because then you may understand the issues. Homelessness is unacceptable in this country but the causes are different for women than men. Homelessness for women have largely been hidden until now. As life expectancy increases the issue will increase. Women who are homeless tend to be single and if they were employed it was on low paid jobs with almost no super. Women are also more likely never to have owned their own home or if they did it was in their husband’s name. On the other hand men (not all) are homeless because of mental illness, substance abuse and relationship breakdown. The causes of homelessness are different so the ‘cures’ are different.
    Anonymous
    24th Oct 2017
    2:49pm
    Women are focussed upon because they are one of the sacred cows of the 21st century. I'm heartily sick of it.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    3:11pm
    Piglet I read the article and yes I understand the issues but it all ends up as public housing. It doesn't matter what the reasons are if you are homeless you need accommodation. Additional services may be required depending on the issue man or women. Most of these articles are the same it comes down to 'women think they need more services and money spent on them than men" according to some study focusing on women's issues. Even though more men have the issue than women,
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:21pm
    I think you're wrong, DrPolymath, I thought polymaths were the ones who didn't have tunnel vision.
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2017
    11:32am
    I think you're wrong, Triss. Polymaths like me have broad and deep vision, because we're well-informed thinkers.

    I suggest you read a book by Warren Farrell called "The Myth of Male Power", and you'll see that I'm right. I'm sick and tired of special pleading for women when it's MEN who die younger, are more likely to be homeless, etc. etc.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    10:52am
    How exactly will the number of rental properties decline? Will their owners simply shut them up and earn no income to offset their mortgages, pay those in full along with all ongoing costs,and wait for the payback at sale time?

    I think not... all this guff about 'we need negative gearing or there will be no investment in housing' is just that - guff.

    Negative gearing is the same as you get with any other business into which you have to pour your private cash.... the issues at bottom, to me, seem to be the banks being too ready to offer big mortgages on next to no REAL equity (how do you gain massive equity from buying an investment property using equity from another one etc, on and on?? You DON'T - buy a $1m property with a 10% deposit, and it needs to go up by 10% in the time before you even apply for another - just to BREAK EVEN - there is no genuine 'equity' in it until you've owned if for a much longer time, and the banks are playing the game that they can never lose - UNLESS the market fails - since they can foreclose, resume and re-sell, and still demand payment for any shortfall from the loser who bought on zero or even negative REAL equity, all the while raking in compound interest.

    Massive review needed.
    Rosret
    24th Oct 2017
    1:14pm
    I do hope someone is reading this article who can and will do something. Its not just older women - its young women with children - families who don't have a competitive income - men paying maintenance to a wife and family and yet have been left with nothing - young graduates and apprentices needing accommodation near employment hubs.
    It is a huge crisis and such a disappointing downturn in our society when we were all stepping forward together and now its a well defined two income stream society.
    They must start building housing commission homes again and force these prices down. Australia has a population of 3 people per sq km. There is room for a home and a garden for everyone.
    Anonymous
    24th Oct 2017
    2:51pm
    The majority of homeless people are MEN. "Its [sic] not just older women..." indeed!
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:26pm
    I agree with you, Rosret, low cost housing commission accommodation has always been needed but councils and government decided that it was too much trouble to administer and sold them off. They have to be resurrected.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    1:39pm
    Many areas of agreement, Rosret. I've long railed against the MADIF (Mandatory Dual Income Family) and the serious discrepancies that creates for the many. Rather than being an equalising influence, it has created a series of strata within society, in terms of the socio/economic opportunities available.

    Now the fruit is coming home to rot (mexed mitaphor) with graduates in the bread line at the soup kitchens as well - so much for the 'smart society'.

    https://sites.google.com/site/grappleruniversitypublications/home/department-of-irreverent-revolutionary-thought-dirt/money-divides
    Joy B
    24th Oct 2017
    1:38pm
    Am I the only one who wonders why there is no consideration given to government/social housing. Yes I know there are waiting lists and each state handles things differently but a social house is better than no house.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    3:28pm
    Yes joy more housing needs to be made available for homeless people. In some states people are in public housing who shouldn't be but the government doesn't want to tell them to leave because they have been there for decades but because of this others are missing out.
    Crafty
    24th Oct 2017
    8:19pm
    Apparently the public housing was given with a lifetime option but this changed maybe 15 -20 years ago to I think 5 years with a review of income. to be able to continue using public housing you need to be under a limit. Not a 100% sure.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    10:14pm
    These rules probably change from state to state.
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    1:12am
    Most probably tib, if public housing is funded by the states. I don't know. This was what I was told by someone in NSW public housing.
    Rosret
    25th Oct 2017
    8:03am
    Joy B there aren't enough Housing Commission homes for the increasing level of people who cannot buy or rent in this very expensive market.
    I found out recently that they just can't up and leave to go outback as social welfare will be terminated if they go to a place with a low employment prospect. Its a catch 22 situation.
    I recently went house hunting with my son. Entry level homes were the old housing commission homes. Filthy, horrible and in an awful neighbourhood. He couldn't buy one of these homes anyway because they came with larger blocks that investors were buying to bulldoze for units.
    So what was suitable for a low income family in the 1960s will now be replaced by a dwelling and land half the size for a middle income earner at around $1/2m.
    How sad for our youth and how incredibly shortsighted of our successive governments.
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2017
    3:39pm
    NSW gave lifetime rights to public housing to many tenants. I know of one who inherited $1 million and remained in public housing, while others sleep on the street. So dreadfully wrong! When will the idiots in power wake up to reality and exercise some common sense?

    24th Oct 2017
    2:46pm
    More special pleading for women. *yawn*

    The largest group of homeless people are MEN.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    3:19pm
    I agree yawn.just another study showing women are victims. According to women. As usual they want more money.
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:29pm
    I hope you two meet for coffee every week so you can complain to each other how difficult it is to be a man and how you'd love to be a woman and get all those perks you think they have.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    11:13pm
    Triss no man wants to be a women. I suspect a lobotomy would really hurt. Besides I could never get used to asking a guy for directions.
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2017
    11:34am
    Triss, I don't complain. I point out facts and speak the truth. Try it sometime.
    TREBOR
    2nd Nov 2017
    9:29pm
    The definition of 'homeless' is not having a roof to call your own - in one way or another, which includes rent.

    This one has been going the rounds as long as the 'wage gap' one has - it is a fact that while women may constitute 44% of the homeless, 90%+ of those women are either staying with friends or family, but are still technically labeled as 'homeless'.

    For homeless men the picture is not anywhere near so rosy - with somewhere around 70% or so not even having that basic.

    These figures are from memory a few years back... but HERE...

    http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/about/what-homelessness
    Crafty
    24th Oct 2017
    3:02pm
    All homeless people should be helped. A caravan type accommodation with tiny houses and a community garden would be cost effective and a start.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    3:14pm
    That's not a bad idea crafty any accommodation is better than none.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    3:45pm
    I don't think these women would be happy with that. The article said" While some of the group were against shared housing, nearly all the women wanted some sort of garden and a space to accommodate their grandchildren and pets." I think they want granite bench tops and 30 squares and some serious landscaping.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    10:00pm
    Crafty my comment about the house size is because I have a house with 26 squares of living space not counting garage and stuff and I would have trouble accommodating children and grandchildren. I think these women are pretty fussy for women living on the street. This story lacks credibility. If I was living on the street I would be happy with a one bedroom unit. I would be thrilled to be out of the rain.
    Triss
    24th Oct 2017
    10:33pm
    Tib, they would be happy with a safe and affordable 1 bedroom home but naturally their preference would be for something larger if they had grandchildren.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:18pm
    The ex (for whom I'm carer) constantly seems to read books on London poverty - with up to 6-7 people living in a room and a single toilet on the floor - and that was good digs.

    No wonder they flocked to Oz.....
    Florgan
    24th Oct 2017
    3:55pm
    Wouldn't it be lovely if the gov started a small homes project where tiny homes are built for the homeless like they do in USA
    Priscilla
    24th Oct 2017
    3:58pm
    Women will always be at risk as they are paid a lot less than mean, even when doing the same job, which means less superannuation etc. A major problem is jobs going overseas and jobs that do not go overseas being given to people with 457 visas. Our governments have betrayed us, not just women, by sending work overseas and expecting Australians to work for very little whilst still having big mortgages to pay and exorbitant bills for energy etc.
    Knight Templar
    24th Oct 2017
    5:05pm
    Priscilla women do NOT get paid less for doing the same job - assuming the same qualifications, experience and work hours. Please identify any government department, business enterprise, company etc that pays less for the same work. Female earnings over the longer period may well be lower simply because many women take more time off from paid employment (eg maternity leave etc) and clearly this results in lower annual income, lower superannuation contributions and less superannuation when retiring. Statistically, men work considerably longer hours than women (albeit that women work longer hours on domestic chores). Another issue that skews income levels is the fact that more women than men work in low skilled jobs that pay lower level salaries. Presumably men in such jobs would earn the same low salaries. Female graduates now outnumber men, however, for example, there is anecdotal evidence than many female (Medical GP's) are working fewer hours than their male counterparts. There may well be a valid explanation for this (family commitments) but clearly, fewer work hours result in lower overall income levels and superannuation.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    5:15pm
    KT it's amazing how many woman still believe that wage gap rubbish.
    Crafty
    24th Oct 2017
    8:12pm
    This is off subject.
    Pricilla, knight Templar is correct. all public servants are paid the same whether male or female (up to the prime minister), which is the same for any other worker whether that be a retail worker or public hospital doctor. The recent news of the female journalist being offered $1.8m and not the $2m her colleague received has not one iota to do with the average Australian who would never be paid this.

    We have set pay rates regardless of sex.

    I'm a couple of weeks off 60, and any women my age should have taken care of her own finances. I have super but my husband was a sole trader and has none. But what's mine is his.

    Having said that, bad luck, mental or physical illness also play a part in our financial situations. Homelessness is not a gender issue.
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    9:53pm
    Completely agree with you crafty.
    JAID
    1st Nov 2017
    12:08pm
    And when you are paying 1.8 or 2 million, subjective opinion as to the value someone offers not only must be acceptable it could account for vastly more than 0.2 million. If you don't like it you leave and find someone with a subjective opinion closer to your own...whinging with populist red herrings to increase your profile or watchers at the new job is sick greed, which shows disrespect for your contacts with lashings of dishonesty.

    I know whoever it is this applies to from glimpses and newspaper headlines but couldn't ever watch them (or their co-host) for longer than it takes to switch off the mundane drivel they carry on with. 18 or 20 thousand would be a lot to pay for treating the public as idiots as they do...but you cannot pay people what they are worth any more can you.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:21pm
    Also some prefer the casual -I've met nurses who prefer to work casual for the higher rate of pay and more time at home.

    Can't have it both ways.

    I also read a study that showed that women Med graduates in Britain, in large numbers, remained in the profession for only 7-8 years.

    Pure waste - if I'd gone to Med school as my family wanted, I'd still be doing it.... and sometimes on a pro bono basis...
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:23pm
    Contracted positions do not count - I've appeared in several films - nobody paid me yet the same as Nicole Kidman.....

    Chalk and cheese... both Nikki and I operate on the same Equity base rate..... can't go below that....
    Fready
    24th Oct 2017
    4:33pm
    I don't understand why so many people are homeless. Perhaps we need more centres to advise people whether their ideas /investments are good or bad. in any event more people should take responsibility for their own decisions. I am concerned that various people say "we" meaning taxpayers should do this or that without thinking where the money is coming from. Yesterday our local paper reported that welfare is costing $300,000 per minute. If I were still a taxpayer I would resent the way people throw themselves on to the "public purse" when their decisions turn our to be duds.
    When my wife and I were made redundant we applied for the dole in case it took a long time to find new jobs only to be told by CentreLink "sell your house and come back when you have spent the proceeds". Perhaps that approach is why some are homeless.!!
    Anonymous
    24th Oct 2017
    8:14pm
    fready you are a bullshit artist, you should be ashamed to put these lies up, you are no more then a common liar, they might have stated use your money in your bank account, never would they have said sell your house!
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2017
    3:46pm
    Heemskerk99, were you there? NO. Therefore you have no grounds to insult Fready that way. Maybe if arrogant egotists stopped working on ASSUMPTION and listened and learned about the real world, we'd be able to unite to fix some of the problems. But while people like you and OG display such arrogance and cruelty, solutions are hard to find.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:25pm
    heemie likes to disrupt the bomber stream using head-on attacks.... it's his European heritage....
    jonboy
    24th Oct 2017
    6:01pm
    I have been living on the road for 5 years after my Ex stole all my share of the house sale funds.
    and during this time I have seen a lot of girls, and guys living in cars.
    PS: I had the luxury of a caravan to live in in car parks etc.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:25pm
    How did she steal that and get away with it?
    Sadie
    24th Oct 2017
    9:39pm
    I am in private rental,paying nearly half my Pension on rent. Cannot get on the Housing list because I am deemed to be in äffordable"" accommodation. Go figure!!
    Tib
    24th Oct 2017
    10:12pm
    Sorry to hear of your troubles unfortunately rent will probably go up faster than your pension. Maybe shared accomodation would help. Two ladies in a two bedroom unit may do better.
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    12:31am
    Sadie, I'm sorry for your circumstances too.
    Would you live in a tiny house community if it was affordable? If yes, what else would you need? I'm only asking if this is something we can put our names on a petition for.
    Rosret
    25th Oct 2017
    8:29am
    Tib would you want to share a house with someone else?
    The older a person becomes the more they need their privacy and then you inherit all the problems the younger generation have. Non payment of rent, stealing the food from the fridge, asking for favours all the time, not doing their share of the cleaning and making all the mess. Making too much noise early in the morning or late at night.
    My kids moved house because their elderly neighbour had his radio on at deaf person level ALL day everyday. It does get to you after awhile until its almost torture.
    A retirement home offers better conditions than that.
    Tib
    25th Oct 2017
    9:04am
    Rosret no I would hate sharing but it might be better than having no money for food. If she has a friend it's an option. If all the pleasent options are unaffordable then only the unpleasant ones are available.
    Most men know that money gives you more options so you don't have to make hard decisions. Too many women think money is to buy rubbish and shop till they drop. Unfortunately sadie will have to choose from a number of unpleasant options. Unfortunately the government is unlikely to come to the aid of all the people in this situation.
    Sadie
    24th Oct 2017
    9:40pm
    P.S I am 71
    Pamiea
    24th Oct 2017
    9:51pm
    I find homelessness one of the saddest things. Why put men on the moon? Pay for housing for these unfortunate fellow Australians. I am providing a backpack full of goodies for a homeless lady for Christmas. Hopefully I will put a smile on someone's face to know that I care. What are you doing to help?
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    12:26am
    Good on you Pamela.
    Maybe life choices can start a petition to build a community of tiny houses to accommodate the homeless in each state.
    Rosret
    25th Oct 2017
    8:14am
    Pamiea putting a man on the moon created about 500 new inventions and employed thousands of people.
    Spending money on creativity makes money. If some wealthy person pays $15K for a handbag then that is fine. The money will filter down the food chain from the seller, to the wholesaler, to the workers who all spend the money etc etc.
    It isn't about gifts (although I think that is wonderful of you) its about finding a way for everyone to have self pride, self worth and independence - even from government and charity handouts.
    It comes from fair wages, fair opportunity, education and communication.
    KB
    25th Oct 2017
    1:07pm
    Yes more and more women are at risk of homelessness due to domestic violence. I agree with tisme. Government must put money into building smaller houses for people on low incomes Stop ear marking potential housing sites for other developments. Councils state and federal governments must work together on the issue of housing affordability
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:33pm
    Define 'domestic violence' for us, and then we'll talk.

    The current 'definition' defines nothing and anything.....but it certainly does not address Violence pure and simple..... basically it's an excuse for irresponsible/immature behaviour on both sides...... but it punishes only one side............

    Funny how that works.... I've argued this one elsewhere, and I'm happy to say that some are now beginning to see the realities of what actually constitutes violence.....

    In the meantime, the casualties on all sides are mounting while 'governments' continue to fiddle with the idea that exerting violence by the State on behalf of one 'side' is not in itself violence, but will somehow cure the problem.... while demonstrating clearly that the exercise of violence is the solution and is the chosen approach of the State in its delusion that all power = violence resides with the State.

    Hitler and Stalin would both have been proud...... no wonder some label these creatures Cultural Marxists - they could include Emotional Marxists in that category ......

    Laughable... the same governments, in true 'cultural Marxist' fashion - go around strutting their credentials on stopping bullying - by using bullying - and offer such nonsenses as 'safe places' for kids with sensitive feelings, who should be fighting in Afghanistan if they really want to see an unsafe environment - and that's just a brushfire war.... wait for the Big One.
    bookwyrm
    25th Oct 2017
    5:49pm
    There is now a chain of retirement villages, garden villages.com.au, which are rental only and use normal tenancy leases, u r eligible for rental assistance if on Centrelink. For over 55s. If u don't like it just move out like a normal rental property. Also in regional centres like Broken Hill you can rent a 2 bed house with yard for $170. Again get rent assistance if on Centrelink.
    bookwyrm
    25th Oct 2017
    6:00pm
    In garden villages u can have visitors to stay, a small pet, air-conditioning, private courtyard.I have been in public housing for 5 years, miraculously got it, but I like to have back up plans just in case.
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    6:37pm
    Yes bookworm, there is a big one in deagon qld. 30 mins to Brisbane, nice spot near Redcliffe. You can buy in around $100k - $140k. Some of them should be rentals. I guess you just need to look around or enlist some help in the searching.
    musicveg
    25th Oct 2017
    8:14pm
    A lot of people want to stay close to family and familiar surrounds so not always possible to move to a cheaper area. I see rents going up around where I live and am bracing for another rent rise in March, but I need to be close to my 80 year old mum, she has no other family member nearby.
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    11:12pm
    Yes Sydney and melbourne prices are rediculous, I don't know how people afford to live there.

    If you can find an affordable place that has tank water and septic, rates would be halved, add solar panels and your laughing. Well, you at least have a few extra dollars in your pocket.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:35pm
    Always wanted to live far away from Broken Hill..... passed through it once..... on my way to Western Australia.....
    musicveg
    25th Oct 2017
    8:16pm
    I am saving up for a tiny house or caravan to be prepared when rent is out of my reach. Where to park it will be the problem. You need water and sewerage. Would be great to see tiny house villages started, small house with a yard, close to amenities.
    Crafty
    25th Oct 2017
    11:22pm
    We had a recent holiday at Hervey Bay, great place. In the caravan park we stayed at there were permanents in caravans and there were permanents in cabins. But like everything, research research research. There are bad caravan parks up there too as everywhere. Easier and cheaper to move a caravan than a tiny house unless it's on wheels.

    It would be good if councils opened up land for people with limited resources. We certainly don't need adding more too the homeless. Good luck.
    Joy Anne
    27th Oct 2017
    11:21am
    I am a Pensioner and do not own a home. I have been paying for last 2 years or more $300 per week that is $600 per fortnight rent, as I have my own furniture and have been downsizing as much as possible still very hard to find another place at the moment for that rent. This house is on the market to be sold and will not be an investor property.
    Fready
    27th Oct 2017
    2:13pm
    I am offended by the remarks of heemskerk99 above. I am not a liar or bulls**t artist. Ihave never had a dollar from Centrelink unlike many commenting here including I suspect heemskirk99. Centrelink DID in 1985 tell me to sell my house and live off the proceeds rather than give me the dole. They then turned to my wife who was made redundant on the same day and told her the same. As I said, people should take responsibility for their decisions. We borrowed against our mortgage to survive without selling our house. We went to the library and studied companies we would like to work for and after 6 months cold calling got good jobs.
    .
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2017
    3:43pm
    Well done, Fready and wife! And yes, I am sure Centrelink did give you that advice. I know, because they gave a friend the exact same advice when he applied for a disability pension after having to quit work due to a significant back injury. They told him they didn't accept that he was disabled (despite extensive medical and specialists'' reports) and if he couldn't work he should sell his house and live off the proceeds. Later, however, a Centrelink social worker told him to re-apply citing mental illness, and his application for a disability pension was approved.
    Kaz
    28th Oct 2017
    5:06pm
    Yes Centrelink would have said "sell your house" first. I know someone who had worked all his life paid taxes etc. and through no fault of his own lost his job. He went to Centrelink to apply for dole (never been on dole before) until he could get another position. He was told to sell his house.
    TREBOR
    2nd Nov 2017
    12:07pm
    Awr, heemie's just part of the furniture and has as much to contribute usually..... don't mind him....
    JAID
    28th Oct 2017
    10:55am
    No one should need to live without a roof over their head, appropriate clothing, medical care access to information, communication and a little secure storage in Australia.

    Clearly, we spend an enormous proportion of the national wealth on social security; very probably more than is sustainable. The question then is, how do we spend it better? How do we make social funding an intermediate step between satisfactory self-funding where it can be? How do we eliminate stigma associated with accommodation and other benefits provided?

    The basic necessities listed in the first sentence above can and should be provided in much less costly form than they are today. We don't need to pay the 3/4 million per house that a recent state housing organisation did so occupants keep up with the Jones'. Not at least for many, (not all,) we can pay $25-30,000 for relocatable temporary living units until better self-funding is attained. We don't need to pay dole sufficent to buy crisps and chocolates, cakes, prepared foods and other tripe, we can provide as much locally produced flour, rice water, vegetables and the like as people may want and let the temporarily time-laden enjoy the process of preparing for themselves in healthy fashion.

    There is much we can do with less which encourages productive use of time, pleasure and pride.
    musicveg
    28th Oct 2017
    1:42pm
    Australia can afford to spend more on social security and housing for all but they choose not to, they would rather feed the pockets of their business mates in oil,coal, gas and mining. When will people realize all the talk about not being able to afford the rising cost of welfare a distraction from what is really going on with our taxes. And with so many jobs in manufacturing going overseas so corporations can profit more we are leaving so many people struggling. It is not their fault that jobs are not available. It is not their fault that housing has become so expensive. And it certainly is not their fault when anyone man or woman has been left out of pocket after divorce or other unseen circumstances. We need to stop lining the pockets of the rich with the national wealth and help those in need. Or will will end up like America. Have a read of Bernie Sanders book called Our revolution. It will open your mind to the truth of the world's wealth and how we are getting ripped off blindly.
    JAID
    28th Oct 2017
    2:31pm
    Unless you have tricky means to amp it up. Time is money. Goverment spends natural resources but largely, it spends the time of individuals. It mandates that people spend their time on what it wishes to spend the results on. We as individuals in community own this place and both our liberty and responsibilty is impacted where any cent's worth of time is wasted.

    Many have 'tricky' means to amp up the 'value' of their time. Millionaires and Billionaires are just the miniscule head of this. The heavy end doesn't only include greasy used car salespersons but hundreds of thousands from retailers who curb a market as the only suppliers to an area, government dominated trades like teaching who with moderate training through group ransom manage to earn substantial incomes and massive extras for 50% to 60% of the time nearly any other worker does. Every individual who owns a house they do not live in. Anybody who draws on government more than their need requires.

    Yet, enterprise is not a dirty word. Ignorance is. Capitalism attempts to respect the individual interest and capacity to optimise their contribution. Ignorance fails to curb excess. With liberty comes responsibility and the greatest responibilities you could excercise involve appreciating needs, respecting accessibility to those and ensuring time is spent wisely. The flutter of wonton spending no matter where it is, the overpriced chocolate at the checkout, the extra million to the executive, the too casual funding response to noisy interest groups, the constant carping demand for more services where services often overlap. The failure to plan resource development; prospecting, processing, transport and sale in an orderly, long term view, competitive, people owned fashion These are symptoms of the ignorance which abuse our liberty and our future.

    Neither individuals nor government (and certainly not our resources) are the bottomless pits of abusers dreams. The stress and inequality this creates now pales in comparision to its theft from the future.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:39pm
    They do say the basics of living are food, clothing, shelter and.. (dare one say it on an open forum) sex....

    Let us never forget that those are the basics - they are not living a full life...... and the homeless are losing out on at least one, and maybe two of those basics.....

    Hello, Australia???? Is there anyone out there..... I keep hearing these repeating signals, but they make no sense...... a bit like 'On The Beach'.... innit?

    (sorry - just wrote a short story for a competition, based on the concept that you are the only person in the world... my entry is twisty - the central character ends up being a permanent catatonic who nearly comes out of it but fades back..... Call Me Ishmael ... and this is my journal....)
    Mez
    28th Oct 2017
    1:21pm
    Nothing said about AUSTRALIA HAS THE HIGHEST NUMBER IN THE WORLD WHO DO NOT PAY CHILD SUPPORT and in a number of cases, do the disappearing act and go overseas!
    Hence, the large number of homeless women as well as age pensioners.
    Tib
    29th Oct 2017
    10:01pm
    Mez many do not get access to their children. Not paying sounds good to me.
    Tib
    29th Oct 2017
    10:12pm
    By the way Mez there are more homeless men than women ...who can we blame for that. I know it will be men right because men are responsible for everything and women are responsible for nothing.
    Mez
    30th Oct 2017
    2:45pm
    Am quite aware of that Tib!
    I am blaming anyone but merely stating facts.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    8:58pm
    You can't claim you weren't blaming men. Men don't get the children in over 80% of cases. I've been in charge of large teams of people and you would be surprised by how many women sent the kids to Dad when the kids were too old to get payments for. It was just about a larger cut of the money in divorce and the child payments oh and also something to torture the ex husband with. There's some facts for you.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    9:08pm
    I don't know how many men I've had working for me that have lost everything in the divorce and also access to their children. Then only to watch the ex wife move her boyfriend who she had been having sex with before the separation into his house and get the kids to call him dad. And you want them to pay support. I hope they never pay a dollar.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    8:30pm
    Shows the flaws in the current throwaway marriage system and the according of 'primary caregiver' status to women all the time, when the truth is demonstrably that both parents are primary caregivers - if not so why then are men pinged for CS at the drop of a hat?

    When 86% of 'marital relationships' are broken up by the woman - how ten is the man always to blame? Perhaps learning a little personal responsibility in your chosen personal relationships would go a long way.....
    JAID
    1st Nov 2017
    9:06pm
    :-) Trebor, where would you get a figure like 86% ??

    People say that there is no point in being married if it doesn't work out. That may be understandable but why do people make an agreement if they are not prepared to stick with it. Part of that involves knowing your potential partner prior to agreement, knowing how they are likely to behave under a wide variety of conditions. then I think it is a matter of wearing the result through thick and thin, which at least those who are church married agee to do I think.

    Why do so many go into an agreement rosy-eyed and why expect the world when you are marrying one very human individual? Love and sex and the rest are not really the point, given the opportunity, you make your bond, your word; yet, significantly in marriage, that seems to be worth nothing. Without the rosiest "love" and without amazing physical relations there is still a world of potential to be appreciated; your kids your companionship and ability to work together and more. Work to achieve trust and that alone can provide a good life.

    One reason why we accept that agreement does not have to abide in marriages, of course, is that so many believe they have some sort of right to have kids. As if they themselves, their whims and not the kids or the people who have to pay if the cannot afford them are more important than responsibility.

    Then, when our blinkered expectations are not met we run off to government even to take responibility for what equitable preparations which we should make if for some reason the breaking of our vow is necessary. Worse, it has come to be mandated that we do subject ourselves to the conditions outsiders set. We are odd things, humans.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:43pm
    Through research, Jaid - the figure may be a little dated, but I employ the same standards as the 'feminists' and their running dogs, and please - don't let a little outdated figure get in the way of a good argument point... if it's OK for 'feminists' and the feministed to carry on about the way women were oppressed by being kept out of the filthy, life-taking heavy industries of the past - it's OK to use a figure from around 2005-6.

    I dug it up years ago when looking into this stuff.....

    It remains the predominant reality - the reality is that most men do not want to see their family destroyed and their life destroyed with it.... women in the majority have no such qualms.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:48pm
    You are correct in all you say... the link I had is long gone after a computer crash.... only took me three days with the help of Microsoft to fix it up.. nearly.... I was lucky to recover my writings, which include a couple of long-running series, some still in embryo.

    If you write at all - you will find there are maybe fifty ideas before you hit something that will set you off and running... well that's my style anyway. I once wrote a story in a day.... nearly ten hours straight on the keyboard.... another one I pumped out in about four hours - and people loved it... to me it still needs work to get it right up where it belongs...

    Them's the breaks - the majority of my stuff languishes on the cutting room floor.... like that of so many others...

    Do not write for a living - my royalty cheques run to maybe $100....
    JAID
    2nd Nov 2017
    4:54pm
    I hope, Trebor, that those few dots after the '100' just indicate that it was all too boring to report every little number in a 6 or 7 figure total.

    All the best for future writing royalties.

    Myself, no, I have never written. Sometimes a dream comes upon me where I take a few months off to write toward the stories that have beaconed. Whether that has not happened because cautions like yours have already impacted or due to recognition that greater skill and inspiration than I possess would be required I do not know.

    Meanwhile, life and work seems fulfilling.
    ABE
    29th Oct 2017
    12:24pm
    More than 330,000 single women over 45 in Australia are living in conditions of serious economic stress. And their prospects are not good according to ABS, SMH, Business Insider etc.

    Their wages are likely to go down, not up, as they get older. A lot of this is because of divorce and usually it's the woman who has to bring up the kids. Most fathers do not pay the required amount to upkeep their own children. Fact! An Australian woman's superannuation will not be enough to support her after she retires. If they don't own their own home, it's highly unlikely they ever will.

    Yup, I'm male, but like to think I am also fair.
    Tib
    29th Oct 2017
    9:59pm
    Vinci women are pretty happy when they are divorcing their husband and taking the house and car he worked for and giving him no access to his children. But it doesn't alway work out the way they planned it does it. What a shame. :)
    Tib
    29th Oct 2017
    10:20pm
    By the way Vinci I'm very fair and it all sounds fair to me. It's karma.
    Mez
    30th Oct 2017
    2:47pm
    It is also illegal to refuse access to their children if the other parent is not paying child support, whichever came first.
    JAID
    30th Oct 2017
    5:08pm
    One case does not prove a point but it can show the Courts do not always get it right if they ever do.

    I recall a one time employee who studied and looked after his kids while his wife worked. He got home one evening to find the family gone. Gone to another state a few thousand kilometres away. He would fly there to see the kids on an OK by the mother and the Courts only to be sworn at and told they "would not see him"

    They eventually ended up in the same state a few hundred kilometres apart. The court, when pressed at considerable expense would require that the ex-partners meet halfway so that the kids could spend time with their father. The mother never turned up. The alternative of driving the whole distance was met with an unanswered door.

    Eventually, one of the children was kicked out for some forgetable disobedience and changed schools, immediately going to live with the father. (Though child support payment did not stop.) As soon as the other could legally leave that crazyness they also went to live the father.

    At no time could the Court see that the mother habitually lied, did not comply with Court Orders and as far as I could see was just plain crazy.

    I don't blame mothers or fathers but on the admittedly limited evidence I have seen, the Courts need to pull their socks up. Balanced views encourage respect and I dare say would encourage more child support diligence. BTW, that father was extremely diligent, living and working on an oily rag while the mother didn't work. He also paid for private schools beyond requirement, Scratch almost any parent and you will see that they will want the best for their children, prepared to go without to ensure they have it. There will always be a few of either gender with insufficient care or who use the children as tools, surely those cannot be so hard to pick leaving the rest to just get together and work out equitable solutions.
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    11:51pm
    What did the ABS say about men living in serious economic stress?

    Oh.. sorry ... I forgot... men are still the primary breadwinners etc, so they simply cannot live in economic distress.. right?

    How the hell do you get to be the primary breadwinner, even when shoved out of the family, and not be a primary caregiver? I ask you......

    HERE!

    https://sites.google.com/site/grappleruniversitypublications/home/department-of-irreverent-revolutionary-thought-dirt/caregiving
    TREBOR
    1st Nov 2017
    10:39am
    Homelessness is a scourge and a disgrace on this nation, and maybe a few more dollars spent there rather than treating politicians and their mates like royalty would help - coupla less free rides to the grand finals, etc (it's a sad thing when a government minister can't afford to pay for her own ticket to fly there - maybe they need more money in their pay packet)...

    I've been homeless myself at age 50 - after two failed marriages and two homes and a bout of piss-poor management ruining my once healthy income - and it is a terrible thing to be down amongst the dead men with every man's hand turned against you, and I can only imagine how it is for an older woman. ALL older people should be treated with respect and given a fair shake - I know there are some who actually choose street living and some have serious mental issues - but in the main there is plenty of woom (as Brigadier MacDonald used to say) for impwovement.

    I heard briefly the other day some 'shock jock' typifying the residents of that ugly building in The Rocks that the state 'government' wants to empty out and knock down or whatever for profit (well I never!), as 'never having contributed one day to this country and its economy' (words to that effect) .... in other words - his view of 'housos' was that they were all bludgers, so it was fine to send in the Sturmers and roust them all out and send them wherever Der Staat demanded, even if it broke their hearts.... (after all, all power resides with the State, doesn't it?.. and the people are just tools for its benefit - Stailin would have been proud).

    One word? Disgraceful - boot out the governments and start again - we don't need leeches sucking the joint dry and selling it all out and living the high life while throwing their weight around.