WE’VE all heard the “location, location, location” catchcry from real estate agents, but location is essential in the housing considerations of people over 65.This group needs greater access to transport and services, has more time for leisure and community activities, and has less need for large houses.
And yet, despite large segments of Canberra’s ageing population wanting to stay in the communities in which they’ve happily lived for decades, we are increasingly seeing people 65 and over pushed to developments on the urban fringes with less developed support infrastructure that doesn’t fit their needs.
Retirement villages, thoughtfully located in existing suburbs, offer older Canberrans the opportunity to stay in their own community, while vacating larger homes to enable demand to better match supply.
Canberra has about 30 retirement villages, but the pipeline of development will not meet the expected future demand without the ACT government adjusting its land release program.
While retirement villages play an important role, many Canberrans still prefer independent living.
As the conversation around raising the retirement age continues, in a city of highly-educated, white-collar workers, many over 65s will be keen to remain in employment for longer.
Apartment living in the city is likely to increasingly appeal to semi-retirees wanting access to lifestyle, part-time employment and services in a more compact, connected community than when they had a house in the suburbs.
Our challenge is to create communities where older people want to be by considering the over 65s in our master planning.