Conferences, Proceedings of the 3rd National Local Government Research Forum

Font Size: 
Local government research into a ‘hidden’ issue
Katherine Wright

Last modified: 2014-07-22


There are increasing concerns emerging through research, demographic and service information about the marginal position of older women who lack resources and support for secure housing. Questions arise about the impact this has on their health and wellbeing as they age. In response, the City of Boroondara, with the support of Monash University, undertook local research during 2011-12 to explore the experiences and issues that place single, older women (55 years and over) at risk of homelessness or that lead to homelessness. As the City of Boroondara is an affluent municipality, many social problems are ‘hidden’. Recruiting women to participate in the research was difficult. There were also issues in accessing supporting data from local organisations and Victorian and Australian Government departments. This paper will discuss the challenges in undertaking research into a ‘hidden’ issue at the local government level. The paper will also describe the key findings and how these will be used to inform the development of local policies relating to positive ageing, health and wellbeing, and housing. It will also discuss the implications for services providers.

Full Text: PDF