This pilot study, generously supported by a grant from the Mercy Foundation (NSW), aimed to provide insight into how gender and location affect the housing and homelessness pathways and experiences of people aged 55 years and over who have experienced homelessness or housing crisis in Victoria.
Australia is facing signicant demographic shifts over the next decade as the population grows and ages.
This paper examines the relationship between poor health and poor housing affordability for Australians, to answer two essential questions for Australian policy makers: Does poor health lead to unaffordable housing? And does unaffordable housing affect people’s health?
It is widely acknowledged that Australia has a growing ageing population. The growing housing affordability problem is also widel y recognised. Declining rates of home ownership and a projected increase in older people in private rental are also well documented. The numbers of older people vulnerable to homelessness will increase. This has implications for the homelessness services system.
This exploratory study asks two broad questions: • Does poor health lead to precarious housing? • Does precarious housing (including affordability, suitability and security of tenure) affect people’s health? Older private renters (that is, people older than 65 years) were particularly vulnerable to unaffordable housing: half were in housing affordability stress.