Community land trusts could form part of the solution to the increasing risk of homelessness faced by older women under housing stress in the ACT.
Housing advocacy group ACT Shelter is investigating the housing needs of the demographic as anecdotal evidence suggests more and more women over 45 are at risk of homelessness.
A community forum will be held on Monday to explore ways to improve the situation for those at risk and identify housing options that could assist in relieving housing stress.
ACT Shelter's Lisa Petheram, who is co-ordinating the project, said community land trusts were one of the possible housing solutions that could improve the situation for older women in the ACT.
She said it could take many forms but one option would be for not-for-profit groups to buy land and build townhouses and then sell the dwellings for a reduced rate.
Dr Petheram said the homes would not increase in value over time so could be on-sold for the same discounted price.
''It's not really happening in Australia yet but there are a lot of people interested in exploring it,'' she said. ''We're just trying to investigate how it might work in the ACT.''
Other housing solutions proposed include shared equity schemes, shared accommodation such as boarding houses and more take-up of granny flats following the ACT government removing the eligibility requirements.
ACT Shelter is conducting a survey on the subject and has received 70 submissions.
Dr Petheram said there had already been some striking findings in that many of the concerned respondents were not facing primary homelessness but were educated women with permanent jobs.
''I guess the stereotype of an older woman who is under housing stress would be a bag lady on the street but I guess this project's indicating that it's actually everyday women - people's grandmothers,'' she said.
''Preliminary findings so far are suggesting that a lot of women here that are tertiary educated and have permanent full-time or part-time work, are actually having a lot of difficultly meeting their living costs.''
The situation could worsen due to an ageing population and women living longer, she said.
Anglicare Australia's 2014 rental snapshot, issued last week, showed there were no affordable and appropriate rental properties for eight out of the 13 low-income categories across Canberra.
All properties deemed affordable for singles earning the full-time minimum wage, receiving the age pension or receiving Newstart allowance were in shared accommodation.
Last month, the ACT government announced changes to the Affordable Rental Scheme for older public housing tenants in the calculation of rent.
Surveys can be submitted to ACT Shelter for one more week and the organisation will report back to the ACT government in June on its investigation.