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man in house

Ageing well in public housing

This project examines the challenges and possibilities for public housing authorities (PHAs) in supporting older tenants to age well and to inform policy development to better support older public tenants to successfully age in place.

People aged 55+ comprise a significant proportion of all public housing tenants nationally. It is expected that over the coming decades there will be a significant increase in older age cohorts within public housing. As this population ages, individuals, households and the sector will face challenges relating to the suitability, design and accessibility of public dwellings and the need for support.

This project will address six inter-related research questions:

  • What are the policy responsibilities and directions of government and PHAs with regard to older public tenants including priority waiting lists, entitlements, supports, transfers and exits from the system?
  • What are the demographic characteristics and current housing circumstances of the older public housing population?
  •  What are the current and expected needs of older public housing tenants?
  • What are the roles, responsibilities, challenges and possibilities facing PHAs in supporting older tenants to age well?
  • What policy and practice initiatives and innovations exist for older tenants among departments administering public housing programs in Australia and what can be learned from the experiences and practices of other housing providers (i.e. community housing, the not-for-profit sector)?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages for governments of catering to the needs of older people by providing additional services or facilitating access to services to enable tenants to age well in public housing?

This mixed methods project encompasses both quantitative and qualitative aspects, including discussions with current/past tenants, frontline managers and workers, other housing and service providers, and housing policy-makers.

Lead Researcher: Dr Debbie Faulkner, University of Adelaide

Project Number: 31217