Supporting older lower income tenants in the private rental sector

Retired lower income households living in the private rental sector (PRS) face rent increases and insecure tenure while being on low fixed incomes (i.e. the age pension). They also live in housing that may not be physically suitable for them and may require alterations to make the premises liveable (e.g. wider door openings to allow for wheelchairs, height adjustable kitchen benches etc.).

The policy options presented here focus on assisting older, lower income tenants. AHURI’s policy issue analysis—Getting the best from the private rental sector for lower income households is a useful companion piece to this analysis.

Why are older renters different from other renters?

The housing situation for older lower income renters differs from younger lower income renters in that they have finished their working life (and usually have low levels of wealth), they have very limited incomes (i.e. the age pension) and they lack future earnings potential. In addition, with changing modern family dynamics, older householders may still be looking after other family members, including the 21.6 per cent of children aged from 0 to 12 years (864,500 children) who relied on a grandparent (who may or may not be a PRS tenant) for some of their care in 2017.

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Source: AHURI