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Can Real Property Law Play a Role in Addressing Housing Vulnerability? The Case of Older Women Experiencing Housing Stress and Homelessness

Ben Travia is currently undertaking rotations through the five agencies in the WA Public Sector: Integrity Coordinating Group (ICG), the Office of the Auditor General, Public Sector Commission, the Ombudsman Western Australia, Office of the Information Commissioner and the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC).

Eileen Webb is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia. 

There is much discussion about the shortage of affordable housing in Australia and the rising tide of homelessness. Perhaps surprisingly to some, older women are one of the fastest growing groups of people experiencing homelessness. In the aftermath of a lifetime of income inequality and taking ‘time out’ for caring responsibilities, older women may be in a precarious position should they encounter illness, divorce or unemployment in mid to older age. This article outlines the background to the growing number of older women experiencing homelessness and, although the authors are not suggesting the law can provide ‘the answer’ to this multi-faceted conundrum, the article examines possible contributions the law could make in alleviating some pitfalls encountered by older women experiencing housing stress or homelessness. 

(2015) 33(2) Law in Context p52

   
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