EIGHT out of ten Australians are worried about a lack of infrastructure and affordable housing given the growing and ageing population, new research shows.
The nationwide polling, carried out by Galaxy, found more than 90 per cent of Australians believed both federal and state governments needed to do more as the country’s population over 65 doubles and the number of taxpayers to support them halves.
Commissioned by The Benevolent Society, the research found the vast majority of people backed calls for a high allocation of low cost or subsidised housing.
“What struck us the most about the research results is the high level of concern across all age groups – from 18-year-olds to over 50-year-olds,” said Richard Spencer, CEO of The Benevolent Society.
“It’s surprising that 90 per cent of respondents expressed concern about Australia meeting the costs associated with our ageing population, and even more in each age group agreed on the need to create more affordable housing.”
The findings supported recent studies showing elderly renters on low incomes were one of the most vulnerable groups in the housing market, said Professor Peter Phibbs, from the University of Western Sydney.
“All tiers of government need to do more to provide better housing opportunities for older Australian renters,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
“State governments can use their land use planning systems to encourage the sorts of affordable housing outcomes that would be suitable for this group.”
Mr Spencer said older Australians often resisted moving into nursing homes.
“They want more choices for late old age than the current options of staying in unsuitable houses where they risk accidents, institutionalised nursing home care, or distant retirement villages where they are cut-off from family, friends and established support networks,” he said.
The poll showed Australians believed the main consequences of the growing population were a lack of infrastructure (81 per cent), a lack of affordable accommodation for low income earners (80 per cent) and overcrowding in cities (75 per cent).