It may come as a surprise to some of you, but the number of homeless older women in Australia is startling. A brilliant new housing initiative in Mosman aims to help the situation so at least some of these women will have a safe and secure place to call home.
Women over 55 have become the fastest-growing demographic experiencing homelessness in Australia. Research released in August found about 240,000 women in the country aged 55 or older were homeless, and another 165,000 women aged 45-54 are at risk of homelessness due to housing affordability stress.
Between 2017 and 2018, over 13,800 older women accessed specialist homeless services in Australia, which was an increase of 63 per cent in just five years. The current global pandemic is, unsurprisingly, expected to worsen this demand versus supply conundrum.
What is Mosman House?
To help meet the demand, our neighbourhood will soon welcome Mosman House – a collaboration between Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), community housing provider Link Housing and Twilight Aged Care which has provided the facility rent free as holistic housing and support, for two years. Eighteen women aged over 55 will be supported via this initiative, including assistance to identify permanent housing solutions. It follows on from the success of a similar collaboration undertaken last year in Beecroft for transitional housing for 20 older women.
“We know that older women, who have often given a lifetime of care and support to others, are increasingly becoming homeless in older age due to the death of a spouse, lack of superannuation and savings, and difficulty finding affordable rentals in Sydney,” WCS CEO, Annabelle Daniel, explained.
“Mosman House is a solution that provides affordable housing in a beautiful location with a range of on-site health and social supports. We are so grateful to our partners Twilight Aged Care, Link Housing, Temple and Webster, AW Edwards and Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter, who have helped us breathe life into this wonderful place, which will be home to 18 women.”
Above: Images from rooms being prepared at Mosman House
With Australia struggling to make headway with housing affordability for women in need, it’s wonderful to have a venue in Mosman tackling the issue head on.
For more information on Mosman House, visit: