Kaupapahere me te rangahau | Policy and Research

Older people need appropriate and affordable housing.

Across the life course, people need housing that is appropriate to their needs, including affordability. Considerations for older people include accessibility, so that they can safely and easily move around their home, as well as having suitable connections to public or private transport.

In the past, many older people retired with a mortgage free house, although rates of home ownership were lower for Māori and Pacific Peoples. Even homeowners who were not mortgage free had the option to downsize, either to release equity, or have a more manageable living space.

However, the housing options available to seniors are changing, due to recent significant increases in house prices and fewer smaller houses (including fewer ‘pensioners flats’). More older people never became homeowners, or were required to sell their homes, so they are reaching retirement as renters.

Alongside this, there is a small but increasing movement towards alternative living arrangements, such as co-housing, some seniors are ‘flatting’, and there is continued use of ‘granny flats’ and multigenerational living.

Find out more about housing as part of the 2022 Review of Retirement Income Policies.

Read the recent research we commissioned on correlates of housing experiences for New Zealand adults aged 65 years and older. Read the report.