New Census data reveals growing risk of homelessness for older people in NSW

08 Feb 2023

More people in NSW are renting or paying off a mortgage as they reach retirement age. These factors highlight the increasing housing stress and greater risk of homelessness for older people in NSW.

On Monday, 6 February, the Ageing on the Edge NSW Forum hosted a research launch with Dr Emma Power. Commissioned by Housing for the Aged Action Group, Emma reported on the latest findings from recently released Census data. The research was developed in conjunction with Curtin University, Western Sydney University and Swinburne University of Technology.

The data reveals that in the last 10 years:

  • the proportion of older people who own their own home is in decline (62.1% to 57.8%)
  • more older people are paying off mortgages (18.5% to 22.2%)
  • fewer people are living in public and community housing (5.1% to 4.4%)

A summary of results is available here: Decades of Decline – NSW Census data insights

In order to address this troubling trend, the Ageing on the Edge NSW Forum is calling on the NSW Government to:

  • fund a specialist older person’s housing service to prevent and respond to older people’s homelessness and housing needs
  • lower the priority age of social housing from 80 years
  • build more social and affordable housing.