Owing to the social and economic impact of divorce and separation, it was found that single women over the age of 45 had a greater risk of being homeless. The fact is however contrary to the traditional image of a homeless person, which shows an elderly man.
Poverty is said to be one of the major reasons for older women going homeless, the study suggested.
Ludo McFerran from the Older Women's Network says that this risk can only be terminated with the combined effort of the communities, the Government and the industry. She also asserted that there was a growing need for an increase in the number of private rental accommodation for single, older women.
The federal Government too, she said should put forth a plan for the switching of existing rental houses into separate living quarters, which would ensure at least some security for these single old women.
As the risk was the highest for single older women abiding in rented accommodation, therefore the first and foremost call should be for shelter, she added.
The issue was brought into notice after a sturdy increase was seen in the number of women looking for Government-funded homelessness shelters.
McFerran further remarked that such homeless women had most of the times, been a victim of domestic violence.
‘The census count of about 46,000 homeless women on any given night is a blunt tool because women are hidden, they don't sleep rough at night because of the dangers and boarding houses are largely unsafe for women”, she said.