Community facilities | July 05, 2018

Ensuring a secure retirement for older Victorians

The Nationals Member for Lowan and Shadow Minister for Senior Victorians Emma Kealy MP has announced that an elected Nationals Government will provide better support for senior Victorians by establishing a Retirement Housing Ombudsman.

Establishing a dedicated Ombudsman would mean senior Victorians can get the help they need to resolve problems, including unfair fees, inadequate repairs and maintenance and property sale delays and costs.

“All senior Victorians deserve a comfortable and secure retirement”, Ms Kealy said.

“The creation of a Retirement Housing Ombudsman will provide retirement housing residents with access to free and independent dispute resolution without the need for lawyers and an incentive for operators to find flexible solutions and settle disputes internally,” she said.

Senior Victorians cannot currently access dedicated assistance to resolve retirement housing disputes, leaving people with no other option but to launch costly legal proceedings.

The Consumer Action Law Centre, Housing for the Aged Action Group, Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria and Council on The Ageing have recommended that an Ombudsman is needed to provide free, fair and effective dispute resolution services to residents.

In a joint paper these organisations collectively report that they consistently receive complaints from residents and their families from across Victoria about retirement housing.

“The Andrews Labor Government has had four years to do something to help senior Victorians in retirement housing but has done nothing,” Ms Kealy said.

“Only a Nationals Government will ensure senior Victorians living in retirement and lifestyle villages feel safe and protected so they can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying their well-earned retirement,” she said.

There are currently more than 440 registered retirement housing operators in Victoria housing approximately 45,000 residents.

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