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Ageing and Homelessness


COTA Queensland believes that the Queensland Government must take more concerted action to assist those seniors who for a variety of reasons find themselves displaced from appropriate housing and made homeless.

Mission Australia has released its report Ageing and homelessness: solutions to a growing problem. This report compiles existing research and data to present an overview of the current issues around ageing and homelessness in Australia. The report explores the precursors and drivers of homelessness for older people, and also provides solutions and recommendations to respond to the growing problem.

Recent research suggests that there are a growing number of older single women who are experiencing homelessness for the first time later in life. For many of this group, a lack of financial resources and assets has meant that they are unable to sustain their housing. Reasons identified from the research included: being forced out of the workforce early, having insufficient superannuation/savings to fund the costs of living, discrimination in the housing market, the death of an income earning spouse, poor health or serious illness often resulting directly or indirectly from abuse, and separation/divorce. (Homelessness Australia, Homelessness and Older People, January 2016)

In 2015, during Anti Poverty Week, Wesley Mission Brisbane, COTA Queensland and the independent research firm Urbis launched a report ‘Doing it Tough” which examined older women’s experience of living in poverty and disadvantage across Queensland.  Drawing upon published research, discussions with stakeholders and conversations with older women in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas, this report provides  insights into the current and future experiences and needs of older women across Queensland, particularly, those who may be experiencing financial hardship, and/or at risk of disadvantage. You can access that report here.

If you or someone you know is at risk or in need of support services contact the Homeless Hotline 1800 474 753 or visit

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