About the HOW Movement

Formed in late 2019, the Housing Older Women (HOW) Movement is led by women with a lived experience of homelessness, housing stress and insecurity.

We are based in Queensland, Australia and have supporters throughout Australia and overseas.

We represent the voices of Older Women impacted by the housing crisis to those with the power, influence, interest and commitment to bring about the necessary changes so that Queensland Older Women have safe, secure, and affordable housing appropriate to their needs which fosters wellbeing and enables ageing in place.

We now have over 2,000 women in our Facebook group.

HOW Movement Milestones

Initial meetings held with support from Queensland Shelter, where five women with a lived experience of housing stress or homelessness shared our stories and developed:
· an understanding that our experiences were not our fault, nor the result of poor choices, and that homelessness could happen to anyone.
· an analysis that the causative factors are decades of political decisions and that our experience is common across many western countries.

HOW Movement was formed as a peer-led unincorporated association to advocate for solutions to the housing needs of Older Women.

Working Groups developed solutions through researching innovative housing models, and identified the barriers to achieving them.

Queensland Shelter made a submission on our behalf to the Queensland Government referencing relevant reports and requesting action on 4 key solutions.

We presented our solutions in a Queensland Housing Department workshop in which Linda told her story of homelessness and its impacts.

We participated in the “At Risk National Forum” with Federal MPs: Tanya Plibersek, Larissa Walters and Zali Steggall.

The Mercy Foundation funded an action-research project to report on Housing Finance Products for older women. The Shared Equity Schemes for Older Women Report was completed in Dec 2021.

In response to Q Shelter’s submission, Queensland’s Housing Minister, Leeanne Enoch MP, announced the State Government’s Housing Initiatives for Older Women, which included HOW Movement representation on a new Advisory and Monitoring Group which continues to meet and progress work on the initiatives.

Core Group members presented at AHURI’s National Housing Conference on “How Older Women with lived experience of housing insecurity built a movement that is transforming public policy in Queensland”.

We also:
– campaigned in the run-up to the Federal Election with members of National Alliance of Seniors for Housing (NASH).
– spoke with the Productivity Commissioners as part of their Review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.
– prepared a written submission based on responses from women impacted by homelessness.
– met with Queensland’s Housing Minister, Leeanne Enoch.
– attended the Queensland Premier’s Housing Summit and raised the need for voices of those with lived experience to be included in solution development.
– Held ‘Co-creating Community’ workshop facilitated by Jason Hilder.
– Hosted a workshop with Robin Allison from Earthsong Eco Neighbourhood

The Housing Older Women Support Service opened in October (one of the Queensland Government’s initiatives) and was visited by HOW Movement Core Group.

Developed induction workshops for people interested in finding out more about our work.

Advocated at two follow up meetings to the Housing Summit: the Premier’s Roundtable and the Ministerial Housing and Homelessness Council.

Another Core Group member presented her story at HAAG’s Forum “Housing and Older Women in Queensland – Latest trends and responses”