Downsizing—commonly defined as the act of older people moving to a dwelling with fewer bedrooms, a smaller land area and a lower value is viewed by Government as a way to address affordability and use the housing stock more efficiently.
Encouraging senior Australians to downsize their homes is one of the more popular ideas to make housing more affordable. The trouble is, incentives for downsizing would hit the budget, but make little difference to housing affordability. This article looks at government incentives that could release housing stock without financially penalising older home owners.
The 2017 budget highlights the government’s preference for cosmetic rather than consequential changes in housing policy. On downsizing, the government has badged a giveaway to a small number of seniors as a housing affordability measure.
A range of policy, research and media commentary has highlighted the link between housing, health, and wellbeing in later life, with discourses around “ageing in place” and “downsizing” emerging as particularly dominant. This paper critiques current practices and discourses around the commissioning, design, and management of purpose-built retirement housing.
The concept of downsizing in later life has received growing attention in debates over the current state of the housing market in the UK. However, in much of the recent debate around housing and later life, there is an underlying thread that under-occupancy by older people is a social injustice against younger generations struggling to get on the property ladder.
Terms such as ‘ageing in place’ and ‘downsizing’ have become ubiquitous in discourse about the accommodation choices of older people. The terms, while not mutually exclusive, are not necessarily symbiotic and mean different things to different people.