Current & Recent Activities

Contact your Members of Parliament!

The recently coverage on television and in newspapers on residents’ experiences of retirement villages has generated enormous interest and at least one other state government has decided to take action.  These articles have described the way one operator manages its retirement villages.   All the coverage has been negative.

This is not the only retirement village operator that has questionable business and care practices.  RRVV has first hand knowledge that many other operators of retirement villages have similar practices. We continue to lobby governments and the retirement industry to bring about change for the better across the whole of the retirement living sector.

RRVV and our partners are in the process of contacting Members of Parliament, both State and Federal, to build on the momentum for change that has been established by the recent Victorian Government Inquiry into Retirement Housing and this recent publicity.

RRVV continues to lobby for the recommendations of this Inquiry to be put into law when brought before Parliament in September.  Many of these recommendations will begin the process of change

RRVV asks each of our members to contact their Members of Parliament, pointing out the need for change and asking them to vote for that change in September.  If you need any help, have a look at our Guidelines page.

Service Fee Increases

The time for villages to hold their annual general meetings is with us,  providing managers and operators with an opportunity to increase their charges. Fortunately, any such increases are limited by the Retirement Villages Act – for details have a look at CPI Increase for 2017/18 or look at Financial Matters on our Guidelines page.

Inquiry into the Retirement Housing Sector

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Retirement Housing recently investigated  the operation and regulation of the retirement housing sector, including retirement villages, with the aim of identifying opportunities for improvement and reform.Their report was presented to parliament on 7 March 2017 and is now available via the following link:

Final Report

The Committee received 766 submissions including many from our members, as well as a submission from the RRVV. Click on the button to read these submissions:

Read Submissions


HAAG Poster 1 May 17Retirement Housing Forum a Great Success!

The Victorian Government has had the recommendations of the Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee for more than two months. It is now time to remind the Government that residents are a force to be reckoned with. Around 135 residents from various forms of retirement housing attended a forum on 1 May 2017 which had been called to review the Inquiry recommendations.
RRVV works in close collaboration with three other like-minded organisations – Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG), Council on the Ageing (COTA) and Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC). HAAG organised the forum and did a superb job. Almost two-thirds of attendees were RRVV members with the balance members and clients of either HAAG or COTA.

The morning session focused on the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Retirement Housing. Residents generally support all the recommendations except Recommendation 10 which proposes allowing retirement village operators to chose whether to advance either a lump sum or a daily accommodation payment to ex-residents in care and waiting for their unit to sell. Residents want the right to choose. Some expressed disappointment with the vagueness of a few of the recommendations. Retirement village residents are especially disappointed with the the Inquiry’s failure to recommend local Council rate relief. Residents of residential parks and non-village independent living units feel the recommendations did not reflect their situation fully.

The afternoon session focussed mainly on actions residents can take to encourage the Government to implement the Inquiry recommendations likely to be of direct benefit to retirees. Retirement village residents working in six groups identified the following recommendations as the top 4 targets:

  1. A free and expert dispute resolution service with the power to make binding determinations that owners and operators cannot appeal – an ombudsman or similar (Recommendation 15)
  2. Mandatory village accreditation with minimum standards (Recommendation 11)
  3. A comprehensive review of the Retirement Villages Act – not just a patch
    up (Recommendation 2)
  4. Independent formal training of village managers and key staff at a level commensurate with responsibility (Recommendation 12)

These groups also reviewed advice on how to obtain a meeting with local politicians and how to approach such a meeting, and tips on writing letters to politicians seeking their support for specific recommendations.


Council Rates

Property Council Rates PostcardThe Property Council – the peak body for operators of retirement villages – is conducting a campaign to persuade local councils to introduce differential rates for retirement villages. If you are asked to fill in one of these postcards (on left), please do so, and make sure they are sent to as many councillors as possible. In this way, the RRVV and its members can keep this important issue alive and hopefully bring it to a successful conclusion.

The RRVV supports the Property Council in its endeavours to achieve a rate reduction for all retirement village residents.

 


Consumer Property Law ReviewCAV Options cover

The Consumer Property Law Review is examining four key pieces of consumer property legislation: the Sale of Land Act, the Estate Agents Act, the Conveyancers Act and the Owners Corporations Act. The review recently issued a paper putting forward options for reforming the Estate Agents Act and Conveyancers Act to which RRVV responded. Our submission can be read by clicking on this button

Read RRVV Submission

The RRVV previously made a submission regarding the impact of this legislation on retirement villages, Click Here to read our previous submission.

The CAV published an Options Paper towards the end of 2016 which outlined potential changes that could be made to the Owners Corporations Act. The RRVV made a further submission with detailed responses to the 66 questions raised in the options paper. For more information click on the following buttons:

CVA Options Paper          RRVV Responses

The recommendations from this review are planned to be considered by the Victorian Parliament in 2018.


Survey of Retirement Village Residents

Towards the end of 2015, the National Ageing Research Institute, an independent research institute, conducted a survey of residents of retirement villages on behalf of the RRVV. The survey focussed on residents’ experiences with managers and owners of the villages. Click Here for a synopsis of the survey results. The RRVV would like to thank nearly 2,000 members and retirement village residents for taking part.


Free Publicity for your Village Events

If you would like to publicise events or activities in your village to a wider audience, please send us the details via email to rrvv.vic.newsletters@gmail.com and we will put them on our Events page on this website.