Geordan Murray, an economist at the Housing Industry Association believes the Federal and State governments have not given housing policy the priority it deserves and that this situation has been going on for the past decade. The result? “As our population grows the build rate needs to go up, this won’t happen without a concerted and cooperative focus on housing policy reform”. Both he and the National President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, Cameron Shepard, believe that the quality of life in our cities will decline if infrastructure and housing don’t keep up with population growth.
Australia already suffers from a chronic housing storage and as the baby boomer bubble hits retirement Australia will have to find newer ways to deliver services to an older population. This is not just health services, housing needs change with age but the boomers have proven that one of their priorities is an active retirement and continuing a positive lifestyle.
As family size shrinks when their children leave, the boomers don’t see the next housing step as a retirement village (as their parents might have done), but rather demand the ability to re-configure their housing to suit this next stage of their life - as the growth in ‘downsizing’ attests. Demographer Bernard Salt says dealing with the ageing population will be critical “As with most countries, Australia will need to find ways of delivering services to an older population. This won’t just mean pensions, but housing and health services as well”.