BUILDING BETTER FUTURES – The futures we want for ourselves
COTA Queensland is about to start a new program to help consumers looking at, or living in, retirement villages make the best decision for the future they want and find the information and help they need.
Everybody has their own ideas about how and where they’d like to live for the rest of their lives. Some will make any changes they need to in order to stay in their own home. Some sell up, buy a small house on wheels, and start traveling. Some choose to live with family, join forces with friends, or downsize to something easier to maintain.
The decision about what’s right for each person is very individual and can be very complex. It can be emotional and for some, the decision is made in crisis or under stress because it wasn’t planned.
Part of the problem is finding all the information you need to make the best decision for you – the financial, social, health, emotional, family, and legal implications can be more complicated than people anticipate. It is absolutely crucial to plan ahead, and having help to find and sort through the information you need is invaluable.
Among the vast range of options, many consider, and some choose, to move to a retirement village. Whether you’ve considered a retirement village, or are already living in one, there have been some changes of late that are important to know about.
Following consultation with industry and consumer stakeholders and the Ministerial Housing Council, the Queensland Government introduced some reforms through the Building Better Futures Bill. The Bill amends a few pieces of legislation, including the Housing Act 2003, Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003, Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002, Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, Retirement Villages Act 1999, and a consequential amendment to the Building Act 1975.
In a nutshell, the Bill brings in a range of changes that are designed to provide better assurance and protection to current and future residents of retirement villages, including changes to exit fees and unit resale arrangements. These changes are important in understanding the choice you’re making and what protections and support are available to you.
This is where COTA Queensland comes in. COTA has entered into an agreement with the Queensland Government to provide education, information, and referral services to consumers about retirement villages – particularly the legislative changes and what they mean for you, your rights and responsibilities, your contract, and ultimately your decision making. COTA will be working collaboratively with the Association of Residents of Queensland Retirement Villages (ARQRV), National Seniors Australia, and the Department of Housing and Public Works on this community education initiative.
The decision about where you live can have real consequences for the future you are wanting to build. COTA’s new program is about making that process a bit less daunting. It is expected to kick off soon, with community education sessions starting later this year.
Stay tuned to this space.