Project Info

This four-year research programme is funded through the Ageing Well National Science Challenge.

It is about the future for New Zealand, and the older people of the future, where there is both population ageing and the rapid fall of what has been a historically high rate of home ownership. Older people in the future will increasingly depend on the rental market.

Overseas research shows older renters, whether in public or private rentals, are more vulnerable to housing stress, dwellings in poor condition, and social isolation. The probability of admission to residential care is higher among renters. It also found that older renters are poorly covered by home care services.

To improve our understanding of these dynamics in New Zealand, this research asks, what are the future implications of growing dependence on the rental market:

  1.  What will be the socio-economic and cultural characteristics of older people most reliant on rentals? What will be the regional patterns of older people’s  reliance on rentals?
  2.  How will renting affect older people’s connections with others and their access to services?
  3.  What about older renters’: Demand for, and access to, in-home care? Access to in-home treatment? Demand for higher dependency living, particularly rest  home care?
  4.  How should policy, funding, and social and health service practices adapt to an ageing, diverse society experiencing rapid tenure change?

This multi-method research involves:

  • National and sub-national demographic analyses using both council and district health board boundaries.
  • Analysis to test whether: (a) older renters are more likely to move (and/or move earlier) into residential care than older people in owned or license to occupy dwellings; (b) older renters are less likely to access in-home care; and (c) older renters are less likely to access home modifications.
  • Reviews of policy, funding, and services in the health and disability sector (including residential care and home modifications), income support, social services, and housing.
  • National surveying of private and public sector landlords providing housing for older people.
  • Case studies in Auckland, Marlborough and Tauranga exploring how factors associated with cultural identity and practice, place, and household circumstances, shape the experiences of older renters and their outcomes.