Safety and security lead housing concerns for older Aussies

Font Size:

A report released on Wednesday by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has shed light on the housing aspirations of older Australians.

The Older Australians and the Housing Gap report found housing meets the current needs of nine out of 10 older Australians. But only around 70 per cent thought their housing met their longer-term (five years or more) aspirations, so the other 30 per cent would be seeking to move.

While the number of bedrooms, building quality and dwelling type were important considerations for those aged over 55, safety and security and having somewhere that felt like home were considered the critical factors in housing for older Australians.

“The physical safety of a dwelling and control over the space in which they live are important (factors) and are associated with the desire to remain independent within their home and age in place,” the report stated.

“Continued employment and the needs of dependent children are important for a small number of older Australians in the 55–64 age category.”

The report also found that older Australians were willing to compromise on the physical aspects of their property. It found that large back gardens were less important to older Australians, but some outdoor space was still considered important.

“Aspects of location which influence aspirations include the perception of safety, social connections within the community, walkability, quality public transport, access to services and amenities and proximity to family and friends,” the report said.

The findings were based on a survey of 2400 older Australians aged over 55.

The most popular outcome of those surveyed was to live in the middle or outer suburbs of a city. It was an aspiration that increased with age.

Small regional towns were the second most chosen location for those aged between 55 and 74, while those aged 75 and over were more likely to indicate a preference for the inner suburbs of a capital city. Few older respondents aspired to live in the CBD of a capital city.

Separate dwellings were the ideal housing option for more than two-thirds of those aged over 55 with an attached dwelling the second choice.

Respondents aged over 75 were more likely to select attached dwellings or apartments than their younger cohorts, presumably as a viable downsizing option.

Three was the most popular number of bedrooms (around 50 per cent), while two bedrooms was much more popular to households aged 75 and over.

Does your home meet your current housing needs? Will it meet your housing needs in five years? Where is your ideal place to live?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


The plight of older renters

Homeless figures grow as Salvos call for immediate raise in government assistance.

New product lets you sell a spare room to cash up

Product lets you realise some of the value in your home without having to sell.

Will stepfather have the final say with his new will?

Can siblings contest new will drawn up by stepfather after the death of their mother?

Written by Ben


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    Retirement living sector is contributor to negative issues for older retirees seducing many into believing buying/ownership when they only have a lease. Subsequent drain of capital away from retirees to operators simply places greater burden on the taxpayer for aged care costs.

  2. 0

    There is no such thing as ideal, it’s all a matter of compromise. Community is certainly important as for me is also a clean green environment. Living on a small rural property there is always work to be done, yet it’s such physical work that keeps me fit. With a community there is always help available should I need it. I worry about 5G and the increasing microwave pollution in the world and prefer not to live in a big city or suburbs. I notice this impact when travelling overseas where I am constantly in WIFI radiation, every hotel has free wifi these days. It affects my sleep and wellbeing, though subtle. Health as I get older takes on more importance and we need to educate ourselves about it. Reliance on doctors and hospitals is in my opinion a downhill slope for our health. Few nurses have confirmed this revolving door trend in hospitals, with patients once in the system not getting out again and deteriorating. There is a place of course for doctors and hospitals, but I believe we need to take primary responsibility for our health and not give that power away to doctors.

    • 0

      Contradictory much. Want clean green environment but travels overseas,!

      It’s more likely the overseas travel that disrupts sleep than WiFi in hotels.

  3. 0

    Being in a green area living close to public transport and medical facilities are I important for me.

  4. 0

    Being in a green area living close to public transport and medical facilities are I important for me.

  5. 0

    I am happy where I live, central in a major city. My lovely family in a suburb not far away. Have subsidised rental. My only concern is whether this is secure housing, or if it might be sold out from under me. I have excellent medical people, which is great, as I have chronic health issues. No car, so I use online grocery delivery for most of my needs, get a few fresh foods when I do errands. Use public transport, which is mainly OK. I try to keep healthy, I cook 99% of my meals. Walk to the shops every day to do errands. My main entertainment is the movies; use Monday 1/2 price tickets where possible. Living in public housing can have problems with neighbours (mental health issues) and shared laundry, but overall I can cope.

    • 0

      P.s. re back yard; basically I don’t have much private space. It’s communal and not all neighbours are pleasant (will pull up your plants etc). However at least there is some green space and trees to look at out the windows. In front of me is a wide, divided street, with grass and trees in the middle. That’s pleasant, and is nice when walking the 5 blocks to the shops. If I had to go into an Aged Persons Unit, or aged care, I would want something green to look at out the window. My Dad really wanted that when he went into aged care, which was great.

  6. 0

    We moved to another state, mainly because we were looking for peace and quiet. Security was the only worry as today, it seems the youth or even adults who are desperate can do only 3 things to survive and that is rob, burgle or steal. So we truly hoped we would be safe in our choice? We also knew as aging was a massive factor we should go for a 2 bedroomed house, enough for a guest when need be. We left a 4 bedroomed house. It is all on one level in case one of us ends up disabled. Each room is quite large, enough to move around freely. The town we chose had to be full of life so a holiday destination for most people which gave us the freedom to choose to go out and eat in a restaurant when we felt like it. The town is flat and the centre is 6 klm’s from our home which means we can cycle or walk and even stop if necessary for a drink. There are no traffic lights! It is a pleasure to live here. When your retired you just want to do what you like when you like. We get a lot from living here, plus being a holiday spot, the family want to visit. 2 years on we are very happy.



continue reading

Technology News

Would you let AI choose your partner?

David Tuffley, Griffith University It could be argued that artificial intelligence (AI) is already the indispensable tool of the 21st...

Food and Recipes

How to spice up hummus

Few things are as universally loved as hummus. A blend of chickpeas, lemon, tahini, garlic, olive oil and cumin, whizzed...


Intensive care during COVID like a 'delirium factory', study finds

An international study of COVID-19 treatments has found patients admitted to intensive care early in the pandemic were treated by...


The surprising health and fitness benefits of golf

Recently, many have had to rely on walking or virtual fitness classes to keep going with their favourite sports and...


Five smart moves for empty nesters

So, the kids have moved out, your home is finally yours again and you have ascended to the rank of...


Why you turn down the radio when you're trying to park your car?

When you're looking for a destination, you might need to cut down the volume. Shutterstock Simon Lilburn, University of Melbourne...


Why we can expect smarter healthcare in 2021 and other tech trends

With last year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and much the same expected for 2021, it is unsurprising that healthcare...

Mental Health

Drug trial offers rare hope on Alzheimer's disease

There is finally a glimmer of hope in the fight against Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, which affects...