Asset poverty and older Australians’ transitions onto housing assistance programs

AuthorsGavin Wood, Val Colic-Peisker, Mike Berry, Rachel Ong ViforJ
PublishedNovember 2010
PublisherAustralian Housing and Urban Research Institute Melbourne, Australia
Number of Pages64

This project aims to explore how the asset-poor status of older Australians helps to determine their demand for housing assistance, the coping strategies used by the asset-poor as they strive to secure satisfactory housing outcomes and the importance of these outcomes to ontological security. Recent demographic changes, together with insecure employment circumstances in deregulated labour markets, innovations in housing finance and housing market volatility mean that wealth and debt positions are increasingly important in shaping the pathways into housing assistance programs. There are growing fears that those most exposed to these risks will enrol in housing assistance programs, because they can threaten home ownership status and cause asset poverty. Moreover, it is argued that these threats to housing wellbeing are particularly important for older Australians as they are less resilient than younger Australians when adverse shocks threaten their housing situation.