Older Single Women at risk of homelessness – Invisible silent and well behaved – no more

I’m just a tad tired – and I think there are hundreds of thousands of women feeling the same way across Australia.

I’d love to feel celebratory about International Women’s Day but recent events and just the ongoing shit mountain of housing stress and at risk homelessness that is the life of more than 400,000 older women across Oz has brought me down a tad.

I’m one of those women trying to climb the afore mentioned mountain, and let me tell you honey, there are no cocktail stops on the way.

I just wrote an open letter to our now, and probably soon to be, WA Premier, Mark McGowan letting him know that we’re not even a little bit delighted with his governments response to older women’s housing stress and at risk homelessness.

Here’s the letter – https://lizlennon.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/dear-mark-international-womens-day-liz-lennon-march-2021.pdf

It’s also on the Shelter WA site https://www.shelterwa.org.au/happy-international-womens-day-2021/

In December 2020 I presented my Reimagining Home framework and process to invited guests at WA Parliament House.

Lisa Baker MLA Mayland; Min Housing Tinley; me; Michelle Mackenzie CEO Shelter WA; Luke Garswood CEO Connect Victoria Park Inc

You can download my Look Book of 40 examples of amazing socal and affordable housing for all sorts of communities and cultures here https://lizlennon.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/reimagining-home-look-book-final.pdf

My Reimagining Home summary – I did it as hand drawings – never again! https://lizlennon.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/reimagining-home-summary-booklet.pdf

The Reimagining Home main document that details the research on older women at risk of homelessness; housing options; and the opportunities/challenges in my Reimagining Home framework and process. https://lizlennon.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/reimagining-home-report.pdf

I’ve spent a few years trying to answer this question

” As an older single woman on a low income what kind of home would I love to live in as I age well in my communities of choice?

The current options are really choices between a rock and a hard place – and darlings – I’d much prefer to be choosing between a cocktail and a shelter dog! Actually, I’ll have both.

Private rental is not fit for purpose, beyond my income means and supply is almost non existent. Social housing has a waiting list so long I’ll be dead before a home becomes available and then it will be away from my community of choice.

Reimagining Home provides a framework that a range of partners could use to collaborate with older women to create homes they can age well in.

And if we don’t get homes that are beautiful| affordable| sustainable| connected| powerful then we will not age well – and that’s a damn shame because we’ve worked hard all our lives, often in low paid jobs, and given unpaid caring time to family, friends and our communities.

I want our Federal and state governments to be the leaders we need them to be. To stand up and focus the same coordinated energy and resources to at risk homelessness as they did during the pandemic.

Women are important and as an older single woman I want to be able to continue to contribute to my communities and live in a safe, affordable and fit for purpose home -with a dog and a cocktail.

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