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Decline in Home Ownership will Impact on Future Generations

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 8th September 2014

A Decline in Home Ownership will Impact on Future Generations of Older People

“The decline in home ownership has implications for future generations of older people who will age without the buffer of home ownership. Rental accommodation will be the new norm for many more New Zealanders as they age” says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “While 77.5% of older people aged 70-74 years own their home, home ownership is on the decline for younger age groups, this will place pressure on private rentals and social housing in the future and create greater potential for hardship for our elders”.

NZCCSS has released the 19th Vulnerability Report. The report considers how older people (65+) are faring in communities and draws on official data on housing, superannuation, special grants for food and other needs, and compares this with the experiences of social service agency members.

“We see the universal superannuation payment has been a success in keeping older people out of the worst of poverty, and that this model has merit for a number of vulnerable groups, including 285,000 children living in poverty”, said McGlinchey. “However, this also means any change to Government policy on superannuation and other state supports, including state housing, will have a direct impact on a large group of older people who are highly dependent on superannuation as their main source of income”.

Feedback from NZCCSS members show some early signs of pressure on state supports, with more elderly clients approaching services for food parcels and other assistance. This, against a backdrop of an increasing number of people living longer, is a signal that government needs to step up its preparation for an aging population if future generations of older people are to be supported appropriately.


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