Appetite to ‘rightsize’ must be supported

The Property Council of Australia supports calls by National Seniors Australia today for the Federal Government to expand its impending downsizing scheme for Australian seniors.

Ben Myers, Executive Director – Retirement Living at the Property Council of Australia, says 24 per cent of seniors confirmed they had a desire to move into smaller, more age appropriate housing, such as within a retirement village, which shows that there is strong demand for purpose-built seniors housing in this country.

“The downsizing scheme announced by the Federal Government in its 2017 budget, which begins on 1 July this year, was a great first step in recognising and addressing the challenges of rightsizing,” Mr Myers said.

“It’s been great to see the Government recognise there is a need to remove some of the financial barriers that discourage older Australians to move into housing that better suits their needs, and that can help reduce social isolation and the very real health risks that come from living in larger homes not designed for ageing bodies.

‘But there is more that can be done to remove some of the financial disincentives for pensioners to downsize.

“Our research shows that seniors who rightsize to smaller, newer, more appropriate housing, like the 200,000 people living in retirement villages today, have extended independence through improved health and support, and better social and mental wellbeing.

“Investment made by the Federal Government to enable rightsizing will be more than returned through reduced pressure on a stretched aged care system.

“We support National Seniors Australia in calling for the Government to examine methods of enhancing the current downsizing scheme, to ensure more people get the benefits,” Mr Myers said.

Media contact:  Andrew Lowcock | M 0447 666 902 |  E alowcock@propertycouncil.com.au