Law School

Does the current housing legislation in WA support seniors on-going housing needs?


older couple


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 Lotteries Commission logo

In 2012, the Consumer Research Unit, in collaboration with the Council of the Ageing Western Australia (COTAWA) , received funding from Lotteries WA to undertake research about security of tenure for the ageing population in Western Australia.

About the research

Specifically, the research examines whether the existing legal framework supports seniors in their on-going housing needs. The research team, comprised of Eileen Webb, Aviva Freilich and Pnina Levine, will be advised by a reference group appointed by COTAWA. The reference group is comprised of persons drawn from law, government, carers, agencies and the community with expertise in matters affecting seniors and seniors housing. Input from the public is an integral part of the project and community involvement is encouraged.

The CRU will identify legal issues affecting WA seniors in relation to housing and accommodation. Although some accommodation issues are shared by all ages of the population, such issues may impact of seniors in a different or more onerous way.  Some are distinct to seniors while others are distinct to WA. Particular focus will be directed at housing options for seniors with disabilities, CALD backgrounds and low-income, low asset seniors. The study is state-wide with participation from seniors in rural and regional areas.

The research will take a similar approach to the 2004 Law and Justice Foundation’s project on the Legal Needs of Older People in NSW  ( but with a focus on the Western Australian law and the housing environment for seniors in Western Australia.  The aim is to identify housing and accommodation related issues through engaging with seniors, carers, agencies and other stakeholders, give an account of laws relevant to these situations and expose the shortcomings in or difficulties experienced by seniors in relation to the existing law. The research will identify issues which can be pursued to pursue later by university researchers, relevant agencies and/or government. It is envisaged the findings will ultimately lead to law reform in several highlighted areas.

Seeking volunteers for survey

Survey extended to Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Consumer Research Unit (CRU) in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia is interested in speaking to senior Western Australians (aged 60 and above) about their housing and accommodation issues and concerns.

Are you over 60 years of age? Have you had problems with your housing situation? If so, would you consider speaking to CRU researchers about your experiences?The CRU is undertaking research, in collaboration with the Council on the Ageing (WA), to identify seniors’ housing concerns and assess whether the present Western Australian and Commonwealth laws address adequately them. The research team is seeking volunteers to speak to us about your experiences. All information given will be in the utmost confidence.

If you participate, your responses to interview questions will be kept confidential. At no time will your actual identity be revealed.You are under no obligation to participate and if, after speaking with us you decide not to continue there is no obligation to do so.

If you would be interested in contributing to our research please contact:
Dr Eileen Webb: (08) 6488 2947 - Email - read more
Associate Professor Aviva Freilich: (08) 6488 2840 - Email - read more
Mrs Pnina Levine: Email - read more

Survey form -
the submission deadline has been extended to Thursday, 31 October 2013

About the Consumer Research Unit

The Consumer Research Unit (CRU) is based in Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia. The CRU provides an independent voice on consumer issues and aims to improve the understanding of consumer markets and consumer protection frameworks. Members of the CRU undertake research in matters pertaining to consumer law and policy and offer short courses and workshops in current consumer law issues. Webpage.