Rental warning: Falling home ownership rates set to bite retirees

Older Australians are falling off the housing ladder and face spending their retirement as renters, with the situation expected to worsen for coming generations. Senior Australians in the private rental market are “at much greater risk of financial stress than home owners, or those in public housing”, according to the Grattan Institute’s recently launched Grattan Retirement Incomes Model. Older Australians are one of the fastest-growing groups of renters in Australia, and in 2015-16 there were 102,600 lower-income households aged 65 or over in the private rental market, according to ABS estimates. An aged pension system not designed to cover mortgage payments or rent, coupled with falling home ownership rates, is behind the growing housing crisis for older Australians.