Accommodating Our Ageing Communities

26 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by Sarah Sinclair

Sarah Sinclair

RMIT University

Foula Kopanidis

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Ashton de Silva

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Date Written: December 5, 2017


Australia’s population is ageing with the cohort aged 65 years set to increase more than twice as fast as the total population. This disproportionate increase in senior cohorts will change community consumption patterns, yet the degree of change will differ at the local level reflecting, in part, the economic character of the resident senior population.

In this report, we specifically reflect on the connections between housing and positive ageing. In particular, we review current understanding of ageing well and its contingency on housing design and location. We review the connection between housing and ageing well in the context of Australians housing preferences both stated and revealed. We then consider the role of urban placemaking from an economic perspective with a brief review of market mechanisms, policy drivers and inhibitors of provision of “age friendly” housing stock that can facilitate positive ageing.

We conclude that specific policy objectives such as supporting an “ageing in place” agenda could be better facilitated in housing stock that incorporates universal design principles. Better designed housing stock can reduce the frustrations and challenges that older people face in everyday living. Universal design guidelines such as those specified in the Australian Livable housing guidelines can also improve housing stock and neighbourhood amenities, which people of all ages can enjoy and benefit from. Yet there appears to be “thin” market for this type of housing. More research is needed to examine the supply and demand determinants (drivers and inhibitors) of housing attributes that facilitate ageing in place.

Keywords: Universal housing design, ageing in place, Liveable housing guidelines, active ageing

JEL Classification: R

Suggested Citation

Sinclair, Sarah and Kopanidis, Foula and de Silva, Ashton, Accommodating Our Ageing Communities (December 5, 2017). Available at SSRN:

Sarah Sinclair (Contact Author)

RMIT University ( email )

GPO Box 2476V
Melbourne 3001, Victoria

Foula Kopanidis

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

Level 12, 239 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Ashton De Silva

RMIT University - School of Economics, Finance and Marketing ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Level 11, Building 80 RMIT University
Melbourne, 3000
+61399251313 (Phone)
+61399255986 (Fax)


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