Looming housing crisis for over 65s – Retirement commissioner warns

The retirement commissioner is warning of a looming housing crisis for the over 65s as home ownership rates decline while the number of pensioners is set to almost double over the next 20 years.

Currently 70 percent of New Zealand’s 750,000 over 65s own their own home, but Dianne Maxwell said she feared for people who had been unable to get on the property ladder and those who have been bumped off due to ill-health or relationship break-ups.

Ms Maxwell said as the population aged and people lived longer, an integrated government strategy was needed to prevent more older people from falling into hardship.

New Plymouth man Murray Tunnage did not even bother applying for a pensioner flat when he suddenly found himself without a roof over his head two years ago.

“I know lots of other people that have thought about going into those but there’s such a long line to get into them and I only had a limited time to get out of the resthome.”

The 73-year-old had been working as a caretaker at a resthome with an eye to staying on long-term when he was given his notice.

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Source: Radio NZ