Members want to tackle a shameful statistic.
The PSA CPSU NSW Retired Associates see housing and homelessness as one of their key priorities.
According to a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry which reported last October, “the rates of homelessness, particularly amongst older people, are anticipated to have significantly increased in the 2021 Census”.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), many of the people facing homelessness in their later years had, until then, resided in typical owned or rented homes.
“Their lives were fairly ‘conventional’, with many raising families and working (typically low paid) for most of their lives,” reads the AIHW’s 2020-21 report into specialist homelessness services. “Among these older people (often older women), a major setback – such as the breakdown of a marriage, loss of a job, the death of a partner or the development of an illness – and a lack of savings led them toward their very first experience of homelessness.”
PSA CPSU NSW Retired Associates Secretary Carmel McKeough said her own experience volunteering with St Vincent de Paul had exposed her to the problem of more older Australians in precarious residential states, such as living on the streets, in shelters or couch-surfing.
“Having a roof over one’s head is a basic human right,” said Ms McKeough.”The Retired Associates will be lobbying for more public housing, particularly for older Australians.”
Retired Associates President Dave McKeough (no relation) said taking part in campaigns such as this is a reason members leaving work should join the Retired Associates.