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Addressing housing issues in retirement villages

The issue of power imbalances within the housing sector has been a persistent concern for COTA ACT over the years.

While this challenge is evident in both private and social housing rental arrangements, it is also becoming increasingly apparent in the context of retirement villages, particularly those operated by commercial entities, which are on the rise across the ACT and the surrounding region.

COTA ACT has joined forces with the ACT Retirement Village Residents Association (RVRA) in a concerted effort to raise awareness and drive positive change in this area. While the ACT RVRA has been advocating for the establishment of a dedicated ombudsman role to investigate complaints related to retirement villages, COTA ACT has consistently advocated for a more comprehensive approach to simplify and clarify the entire system for both current and prospective residents of retirement communities.

In response to the RVRA’s petition, the ACT Government recently declared that it did not find a compelling case to justify the introduction of a designated ombudsman for this domain. You can review the detailed response from the ACT Government by following this link: ACT Government’s Response.

The upside of this process for COTA ACT has been substantial traction with the ACT Government about the issues for those in (or considering) retirement living, including the establishment of a dedicated Retirement Village Working Group. This group’s mission will be twofold: to explore potential improvements to the existing legislation and to increase awareness of the complaint procedures and options available to retirement residents.

Moreover, the government has agreed to our suggestion to examine the feasibility of introducing standardised contracts, a practice already in place in New South Wales. These standard form contracts aim to provide greater transparency and comparability for prospective residents of retirement villages.

As we continue to navigate these housing challenges, COTA ACT remains committed to advocating for equitable housing solutions for seniors. We will keep you updated on our progress and any developments in this ongoing endeavour.


If you’d like to discuss your current housing options, our volunteers at COTA ACT may be able to help. 

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