Productivity Commission report a wake-up call for the NSW Government to improve affordable housing for older people

The Productivity Commission’s report on the Housing Decisions of Older Australians released today is a wake-up call for the NSW Government to improve housing affordability for older people.

“The Productivity Commission highlights that older people are constrained in their housing choices because of a lack of age-appropriate housing, and, to some degree, inefficient taxes such as stamp duty”, said Greens spokesperson for Housing and Ageing Jan Barham.

“There is a lack of age-appropriate housing in NSW, which discourages downsizing and sees some older people prematurely enter nursing homes because their home is inaccessible. This issue was identified by both the inquiry into Social, public and affordable housing and the inquiry into Registered nurses in NSW nursing homes.”

“Stamp duty presents another barrier to downsizing and the NSW Government should explore ways of removing this inefficient tax to facilitate smarter use of housing supply.”

“Of great concern is the increasing number of older people who live in private rental, with 220,000 older Australians renting privately. Up to 45% of older private renters are in housing stress, where they pay more than 30% of their income in rent alone. Older renters in New South Wales face insecure tenure, which can have a huge detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing.”

Ms Barham said this report highlights a disconnect between housing and aged care policies as well as a lack of planning at a state level in preparing for an ageing population.

“The NSW Government must invest in a range of affordable and age-appropriate housing options for both older homeowners and private renters so that they can age in place. NSW must increase social housing supply, targeting areas of highest demand, but also explore other options such as increasing supply of independent living units and improving consumer protections in, and affordability of, retirement villages.”

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

The Productivity Commission Report on the Housing Decisions of Older Australians

Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing Recommendations and Final Report

Inquiry into Registered nurses in New South Wales nursing homes

Renters Rights – Jenny Leong, Greens MP and Rental Tenancies Spokesperson