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Understanding Downsizing in Later Life and its Implications for Housing and Urban Policy

State of Australian Cities Conference 2013

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


The ageing of the population is one of the major policy challenges of the 21st Century and has major implications for the future of Australian cities. Downsizing is often assumed as inevitable or necessary in housing and urban policy as a response to the ageing population, yet has been the subject of little research in Australia. This paper discusses the findings of a recently completed AHURI research project on downsizing involving analysis of ABS data, and a national mail survey together with in-depth interviews and policy forums in three states of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia). Based on the survey findings and ABS analysis it provides an estimate of the extent of downsizing in Australia. It then explores how downsizing is conceptualised in the academic and policy literature as well as in the popular understanding of the older participants in the survey and interviews. It reviews evidence from the survey and interviews concerning the motivations of older people who downsize, the processes they undertake and their views of the economic and social outcomes of having downsized. Finally, based on the perceptions of downsizer survey respondents and interviewees and the policy forum participants, the paper concludes by considering the implications of this research for housing and urban policy.

Further Details

Author Ruming, K., Randolph, B., Gurran, N.
Publish Dates 2013/12/16/
Publish Location Sydney
Publisher SOAC Research Network
ISBN/ISSN 1740440331
Proceedings Title State of Australian Cities Conference 2013: Refereed Proceedings
Access Date 2013/11/27/

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