The need for social and affordable housing will only grow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic upon us at the time of writing, and Australian governments at all tiers will need to prioritise housing and innovate in relation to funding and investment. Housing providers will need to grow their imagination in relation to the types of social housing that will best meet the needs of a diverse and ageing tenant body.
Most importantly, governments and providers will need to drive innovation in social housing governance structures by piloting new models of ‘bottom-up’ ownership that help ensure social housing residents are integrated and valued members of their broader community.
This paper considers how older Australians fit into the existing social housing system and use Per Capita and TACSI research to outline what older people want from social housing. We will then investigate the ways in which the current system falls short, creating problems for older Australians, including problems of access, affordability, stock design and condition, and location.