Dignity and choice An inclusive future for our ageing population

The ageing of our population presents a fundamental challenge for how cities are able to function. This report provides a series of policy proposals to achieve a more inclusive and liveable city. While many of the recommendations put forward are centred on the needs of older residents, their implementation would have benefits for the whole community. On housing, cities are witnessing the rise of community opposition to retirement living and aged care facilities, which not only deprives retirees of a choice in where they will live, but which also increases the barriers to downsizing for seniors, whose property could help fill a shortage in two or three bedrooms for younger families seeking to enter the property market. For non-home owners, less than 1% of Sydney’s listed rental properties on the market, including studio apartments, are affordable to either a couple or individual receiving the full aged pension. This has led to a worrying increase in homelessness among women aged 55 and over. For those who are able to secure an affordable rental property, tenancy laws make it difficult for them to access government funded home modifications to enable them to age in place.