Downsizing: It’s not about the money

A large two storey weatherboard home with a big garage and drivewayPolicy makers think that downsizing is largely about finances and homes being too large to suit ageing in place. But the evidence is something else. Research findings put to bed some of the myths younger policy makers have about older people and their ideas on housing.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has released an overview of research carried out on downsizing and older people; “Government policies to encourage downsizing are focussed on stamp duty reductions for older households however research shows there are a wider range of barriers to downsizing (real and perceived) for older householders other than financial reasons”. It would be good if homes were universally designed with the lifespan in mind – that’s what older people want – to stay put for as long as possible. Time for policy makers to re-think. Young people think of house and equity. Older people think of home and security. The title of the article is What are the contributors and barriers to downsizing?