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What is the housing problem for older Australians?: Building evidence for policy

4th Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, Asia-Pacific Network of Housing Researchers Conference

Author: Bridge, C., Jones, A.
Type: Conference Proceedings
Year: 2009

Abstract:

The essence of the ‘housing problem’ is the mismatch between the available stock and the emerging needs and aspirations of older people. Demographically speaking, Australians are ageing and the proportion of the population over 65+ is set to increase, particularly amongst those 75+, while the number of people of working age supporting each person is reducing. Most older Australians are community dwelling home owners with housing aspirations which include lifestyle choices and rejection of extended family living, with the preference being towards solo households. Many older home owners prefer larger houses but a sizeable and growing number are renters with less choice, autonomy and security of tenure. This is in the context of insufficient residential aged care places and a significant unmet home modification and maintenance need. In this paper, we will present a meta-analysis of a number of recent AHURI funded projects so as to set out the statistical, theoretical and care perspectives relevant to better understanding the ‘housing problem’ for older Australians. Housing that enhances the health and inclusion of older people and addresses some of the emerging issues such as reducing the annual health related expenditure estimated at just under two and half million dollars directly resulting from older persons’ home-related injuries. Further, poor quality housing appears to be a major factor in transition to higher dependency residential environments. Finally we will suggest some of the research needed to ensure that we have a timely and useful evidence base to create the sorts of housing options required by older Australians.

Further Details

Publish Dates: 5-7 August
Publish Location: Sydney
Reads: 133
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