Single Ageing Women & Housing Security: A Pilot Study of Women Living in the Cities of Unley and Salisbury

Ageing is a policy challenge for all levels of government within Australia, as it is for societies the world over. In many respects, Australia is in an enviable position with respect to ageing strategies, possessing comparatively strong health, welfare and superannuation systems, a relatively strong economy and a high standard of living. Nonetheless, numerous challenges remain with respect to ensuring that Australia’s ageing population can remain active and engaged with their communities and live healthy and connected lives for as long as possible. Australia must also ensure that adequate legal and policy mechanisms are in place to protect the most vulnerable older Australians including those needing to live in residential care facilities, those who live alone, in poverty, in precarious housing arrangements, as well as people living with disabilities, who are dependent on others or who are otherwise vulnerable. Researchers from the Australian Research Network on Law and Ageing (ARNLA) were engaged by the South Australian Office for the Ageing (OFTA) in 2015 to conduct a pilot research project involving single women over the age of 55 years living in rental accommodation in the Cities of Unley and Salisbury in South Australia. The principal aim of the research was to identify, through semi-structured interviews, the attitudes and challenges that single women living in rental accommodation face with respect to housing security. The research was intended to assist OFTA and the South Australian Government by providing an evidence based approach to better understanding the housing challenges and needs of single women over 55.