The Parliament of Victoria Legal and Social Issues Committee has announced that it will be conducting an inquiry into the State’s retirement housing sector, and in particular retirement villages, caravan parks, residential parks and independent living units.
The terms of reference of the inquiry provide that the Committee should consider:
1. existing legislation that relates to retirement housing, in particular recommendations for reform of retirement housing legislation to ensure it:
a. reflects the diversity of retirement housing types;
b. includes proper consumer protections, dispute resolution procedures, fair pricing, and consistent, simplified management standards and regulations across the sector; and
c. has a focus on dignity, respect, appropriate care and quality of life for retirees;
2. comparable reviews and recommendations for reform in other Australian and overseas jurisdictions;
3. the experiences and views of residents of retirement housing and their families and retirement housing owners and managers;
4. the option to appoint a Retirement Housing Ombudsman; and
5. the impact of local government rating on retirement housing.
This establishment of the inquiry could be the precursor to further change in the retirement village and residential parks regulatory landscape in Victoria – indeed, the Chair of the Committee has stated that the aim of the Committee in undertaking the inquiry to be to ‘…identify opportunities for improvement and reform’. However, with the reporting date for the inquiry not until 1 March 2017, the legislative response is unlikely to be seen before mid to late 2017.
The media release for the inquiry notes that the Victorian community, including retirement housing owners and managers, are invited to have a say in the inquiry. Details of where to send submissions are on the Legal and Social Issues Committee website, accessible here: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic
Alexandra Adams | Lawyer | +61 2 8248 3466 | firstname.lastname@example.org