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Downsizing: Barriers and Policy Options for Australia's Ageing Population

European Network for Housing Research Conference 2013

Author: Judd, B. H., Bridge, C., Liu, E., Easthope, H., Davy, L.
Type: Conference Proceedings


Population ageing presents many challenges to governments, including to housing and urban policy. It is now widely accepted, and supported by research, that the majority of older Australians prefer to age in place, and government policy has moved strongly to support this by progressively increasing the level of care available in the home. However, since the majority of older Australians live in single or couple households in large three or more bedroom suburban dwellings on large allotments, there is also a contradictory view that older people underutilise their homes and should be encouraged to downsize. It is often assumed in urban planning policies and strategies that an ageing population will result in an increased demand for more diverse (implying smaller) dwelling types into which older people would, or should, move to release their larger dwelling stock for younger family households to occupy. However there has been little research in Australia to date on the downsizing behaviour of older Australians. This paper reports on the findings of an Australian Housing and Urban Research (AHURI) funded study on ‘Downsizing Amongst Older Australians’ which included a national survey of 2819 older Australians, 70 in-depth interviews and policy forums in three states of Australia. It provides an estimate of the number of older Australians who move and downsize in later life, identifies the barriers that exist to downsizing and explores a range of policy options that could help facilitate downsizing amongst those older people who would choose to do so.

Further Details

Publish Dates 2013/09/11/
Publish Location Tarragona, Spain
Access Date 2013/06/19/
Keywords Ageing, Housing, Downsizing, Policy

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