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Housing Decisions of Older Australians


On December 1st the Australian Productivity Commission released their third paper concerning older people. In the Housing Decisions of Older Australians report they choose to focus on the housing choices made by older Australians.

The report, considers available statistical evidence on the financial and accommodation aspects of housing decisions and draws out some of the issues affecting the wellbeing of older Australians and the broader community.

It also examines the policies affecting the supply and cost of residential aged care and other age-specific housing, the influence of the tax and transfer system on housing decisions, and the issues in using home equity release to support living standards in retirement.

In reaching its conclusions, the Commission drew on evidence from a survey of older Australians conducted on its behalf.

Importantly, the report explicitly discusses how home modifications might be funded going forward and two options are mentioned:

1. Existing and new Equity Release Products are proposed as a way to older Australians to pay for private health care, and make home modifications and repairs that would enable them to age in their homes rather than in residential aged care p. 165.

2. The existing but little known, Pension Loans Scheme could be modified to allow older people to allow limited lump sums tobe drawn as an alternative to an income stream.For example, up to one year of payments could be taken as an advance for larger expenses. p. 169.



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