Ageing well in public housing

This report examines the policy and practice issues raised by increasing demand for public housing among older Australians, and how public housing authorities (PHAs) can support older tenants to age well.

The report finds people aged 55 years and over now comprise 35 per cent of public housing tenants nationally and in the coming years, it is expected the demand on the public housing system from lower income older households will increase significantly. Challenges facing the public housing system include demand for housing exceeding supply; an ageing population; inappropriate and inefficient stock; and increasing complexity in the needs of current and prospective tenants.

Other Findings

  • Public housing has long been considered an appropriate option for older lower income households.
  • Older people comprise a significant proportion of public housing tenants, including more than a third of tenants nationally.
  • Public housing authorities (PHAs) hold significant responsibility for the environments in which older tenants live. Being able to live in environments that support and maintain a person’s  intrinsic capacity and functional ability is seen by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the key to healthy ageing.


Undertaken by researchers from University of South Australia, University of Tasmania and the University of New South Wales.

View the report here.