Our New Housing Support Service Opens Doors for Older Women

15 August 2019

On Thursday 8 August, YWCA Canberra launched Next Door, our new innovative housing support service for older women who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Next Door is our new specialist women’s service that empowers older women to access and maintain affordable, appropriate and safe homes in the ACT. Next Door will provide a range of services and supports for older women age 50+ who are at risk of or who are experiencing homelessness.

Around Australia and in the ACT, older women are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness. Many older women do not have financial security following a lifetime of work and caring responsibilities, often as a result of inequalities of wages and superannuation compared to their male counterparts. It can take just one or two incidents such as a partner passing away, poor health, or a breakdown of family relationships for women to be left in a very volatile position through no fault of their own.

The goal of Next Door goal is to nurture and empower older women to overcome the challenges, trauma and inequality they have experienced in their lives and build their resilience, independence and wellbeing. We can help older women find a home, maintain an existing tenancy or support women to access the services and help they need.

Through Next Door, the YWCA Canberra housing team will work with older women to:

  • help overcome challenges such as mental and physical ill-health, relationship breakdowns, unemployment, or insecure work
  • identify whether they are eligible for social, community, a­ffordable or private rental properties and assist with their application
  • organise aged care and disability support options to maintain independence and age in place
  • explore home share options for women that own their home
  • connect women with specialist community or government services with health, wellbeing, tenancy, legal and financial expertise

We are delighted to receive a grant of $1.9 million from the ACT Government to deliver this much needed specialist women’s service. We look forward to working with the ACT Government to improve outcomes for older women in Canberra now and into the future.

To find out more about Next Door, visit our website or contact our team on 02 6185 2000 or NextDoor@ywca-canberra.org.au.

This article forms part of YWCA Canberra’s advocacy publication, YAction.

You can read the previous article in this series here.

YAction shines a light on the advocacy of YWCA Canberra, like-minded organisations and the issues that are important to our community.

This publication is about bringing the voices, initiatives and efforts of activists and organisations to the fore – we hope that by doing this we will increase awareness of critical issues and present opportunities for collaboration that our members, friends and supporters can get involved in. Ultimately, we hope to strengthen a movement that works together to achieve gender equality in the ACT, as we believe that this will take a society-wide effort.

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