Urban justice and sustainability: Comparing the situation of older renters in public housing with that of older renters in private rented accommodation in Sydney

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Local Environment, 2009, 14 (5), pp. 417 - 430
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© 2009 Taylor & Francis. An ever-increasing number of older Australians are dependent on the private rental market for their accommodation. Through the use of in-depth interviews, the life circumstances of older renters in public housing are compared with those in private rented accommodation. All of the interviewees were living in Sydney and dependent on the government age pension for all or the bulk of their income. It is illustrated that the interviewees in public housing were in a superior financial position, had far greater security of tenure and, drawing on the work of Amartya Sen, had a far greater capacity to live a life they valued than did their counterparts in private rented accommodation. The interviewees in private rental accommodation were often in a desperate financial situation and extremely anxious about their future. Their capacity to control their present and their future was very limited.
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