Contentment and Suffering: the impact of Australia's housing policy and tenure on older Australians

Publisher:
Australian Council Social Service Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Journal of Social Issues, 2009, 44 (4), pp. 361 - 375
Issue Date:
2009-01
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Housing policy in Australia historically has focused on facilitating homeownership and creating some buffer for those households that are not homeowners. This paper explores the implications of sing policy in Australia historically has focused on facilitating homeownership and creating some buffer for those households that are not homeowners. This paper explores the implications of this policy for older Australians. What is argued is that housing tenure has become a crucial divide and that older Australians who have not had the good fortune to access homeownership or public / community housing and who are dependent on the private rental sector as a result, often find themselves in desperate circumstances. The argument is developed that the failure to put in place a housing policy which would give all citizens the ability to access adequate and affordable housing, has led to a situation where a substantial and increasing number of older Australians have untenable housing costs and minimal disposal income. The article concludes that the present policy initiatives aimed at addressing the housing affordability crisis will have little impact on the situation of older people who are currently in housing stress.
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