Western Australian Regional Development Minister, Terry Redman, has announced that $46.19 million in Royalties for Regions funding will be devoted to the construction of accommodation for older people in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions of WA, along with key worker housing in the State’s far south.
RPS’ Economics team played a key role in the funding win, supporting the Wheatbelt Development Commission to assess local need for age-appropriate housing, advising on a new local government-led model for development delivery, and contributing to the submission that would secure the Wheatbelt’s Royalties for Regions windfall.
RPS Technical Director – Economics, Tim Connoley said the seed funding will help enhance the lives of older Western Australians in regional areas.
“Many of the communities that will benefit from this program have an increasing number of older residents, but declining populations overall,” he said.
“A new approach was needed to ensure age-appropriate housing options are available, affordable and accessible into the future.”
Mr Connoley says the local government-led Aged Housing Alliances set up to manage new accommodation developments will operate as not-for-profit organisations, re-investing operational savings into future projects and capital works.
“Developing sustainable, age-appropriate accommodation in regional areas will ensure older residents can remain in their communities even as their housing needs change,” he said.
“Research suggests age-appropriate accommodation can help reduce levels of loneliness and depression in older people, while appropriate home design has been shown to reduce falls and accidents among the elderly by up to 31%. This can in turn result in substantial health cost savings to individuals and communities.
“The need for aged care services and accommodation is only going to grow, so it’s really positive to see Royalties for Regions supporting initiatives that will help maintain the quality of life, health, wellbeing and prosperity of ageing households,” Mr Connoley concluded.
RPS regularly supports the identification and delivery of aged care and retirement living developments in regional and metropolitan areas across Australia.
Read more about our recent work on Aged Care Alliances in the Wheatbelt region here
Media Enquiries: Lauren Bonser on (07) 3237 8899
15 December 2016