As part of its Housing Affordability and Diversity Strategy, the City wants the project to use innovative opportunities to collaborate with seniors to identify their key housing needs, and help them ‘rightsize’, not just downsize, as their lifestyles change.
The project, due to begin this year, will include targeted research workshops and surveys to gain more insight into the housing needs and barriers of local older residents.
After partnering with the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, the City hopes to promote the project’s findings to relevant stakeholders such as builders, real estate agents and the development industry, with a view to forming a framework for use by other metropolitan councils.
One of the main points likely to be addressed during the project includes the need for housing to incorporate universal access in its design, so people can age in their own home in a local suburb, regardless of future reductions in mobility or physical ability.
This would prevent stressful moves to new communities for older people, something that can negatively affect quality of life, increase isolation and exacerbate dementia and memory loss.
In February while preparing its grant application for the age-friendly communities innovation and implementation grant, the City held a scanning survey of local seniors.
It revealed 28 per cent of respondents planned to move to a house that better suited their needs and 95 per cent of all respondents wanted to stay in Cockburn.
Many said being able to find a home that suited their needs in their suburb would encourage them to move out of the 3+ bedroom homes that make up 95 per cent of houses in Cockburn’s older suburbs where the 65+ population is rapidly expanding.
Some of the reasons for not wanting to move house included it being too much effort, difficulty finding a smaller home that was good value for money and close proximity to amenities.
For more information on the grant, read the State Government Media Release