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Projections out to 2051 for older renters

Fact Sheet – Older Renters[1]

 An older renter household is defined as one where the reference person is 65 years or older.[2] They may be living in either social or private rental accommodation. 

Table One. Size of older rental market in New Zealand
No. of older households renting
% of total older households
·         The size of the older rental market has grown slowly over the last 10 years. Though the number of older renters is projected to triple by 2051 from its current size, it is projected to make up a similar percentage of the total number of older households (decreasing from 18.7% to 21%).
Table Two. Tenure proportions for older households
Own home and other
Renting – private
Renting - central govt
Renting - local govt
·         A small shift will occur between older households renting and owning their own home, with renting growing as an option out till 2051. More noticeable will be the shift away from renting from local government (continuing the recent trend), and a greater reliance on central government and private landlords.
The main features of the projections out to 2051 for older renters are…
·      as the population ages, the proportion of renting households which are 85+ years will increase from the current 12 percent to 32 percent in 2051
·      there will be a greater number of one-person households with predominantly single females
·      growth in the older renter market will largely be in the Auckland region.

Figure One. The ‘typical’ older renter household (2006)

‘Typical’ older
renter household
Renting from private market (64%)
European in ethnicity (60%)
Less than 3 people in household (76%)
Lived in the same house for more than five years (60%)
Aged between 65 and 74 (50%)
Single person household (69%)

The growth of the intermediate renter market will impact on some key areas…
Older people have specific housing needs 
In general, older people prefer low-maintenance housing near amenities and they want to stay in their present home for the rest of their lives (even if too large for them), though they worry that health issues may prevent this.
Local government currently provides pensioner housing that is the right size and location – close to amenities including transport and health providers. Other specialised housing for older people includes sheltered or extra-care housing, retirement villages and social villages. Retirement villages are only an option for wealthier older people. 
Older people may need services to support them to age in their present home.
People are entering residential care later in life when they are more disabled than in the past, resulting in more disabled older people living in the community. Older people remaining in their own homes often need help adapting their homes – in New Zealand the Ministry of Health and ACC currently fund adaptations or modifications for homes for people who meet existing eligibility criteria, regardless of age.
Voluntary organisations, especially religious and charitable groups, offer care services to older people which are not commonly offered by landlords. District Health Boards fund home support services for home help and personal care for older people. Eligibility is determined through needs assessment and home help services are income tested. 
Living standards tend to be lower for older renters than for older owner occupiers
The Living Standards Survey (Ministry of Social Development) published in 2006 found that older people who rented were more likely to be in hardship compared to those who owned. Those who rented from Housing New Zealand Corporation had the lowest average living standard and were most likely to be in hardship.

[1]Source: Department of Building and Housing.
[2] A renter household is one which does not live in accommodation they own and makes a rent payment as defined in the 2006 census. The reference person is the individual who completed the dwelling form on census night. This is taken as a proxy for the head of a household.
[3]Based on a scenario of high fertility, low mortality, high net migration and tenure ratios over the five year period 2001 to 2006.

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