On 30 November 2017, Parliament House was filled with retirement housing residents from across Victoria calling for leadership on retirement housing reform.
Over one hundred residents of retirement villages, residential parks and independent living units braved the heat to demand action from Members of Parliament on retirement housing reform.
There was broad agreement in the room with the following statement by President of Residents’ of Retirement Villages Victoria (RRVV) Lawrie Robertson, who said:
“We need to even up the power balance between owners and the operators on the one side and residents on the other with greatly enhanced resident rights and protections, and a strong and proactive regulator. The situation today is like being in a boxing ring with a 400-pound gorilla where the referee cannot or will not get into the ring.
Our top priority is for an external dispute resolution system that provides binding decisions without having to engage in an adversarial process and certainly without having to apply to VCAT. We want an ombudsman and we want one now.”
Alongside COTA Victoria, Housing for the Aged Action Group and RRVV, we launched our retirement housing State Election platform: “Retirement housing matters: Make it fair and affordable”. The platform is focused on four key areas of resident detriment in the retirement housing sector. Most importantly, the platform outlines practical solutions to reform a sector that provides an essential housing option for older Victorians.
With the industry growing to meet the needs of an aging population, we need fit-for-purpose regulation and legislation to maintain confidence in the sector and protect older Victorians. We are calling on all political parties to commit to implementing the reforms outlined in this platform at the Victorian election.
We would also like to thank the many residents and their family members who joined us at Parliament House for the event, particularly with such challenging weather conditions. We stand with residents and support you and all others in your advocacy for a fair go for older Victorians in retirement housing.