becoming-wave replied to “Empty nesters shouldn’t be forced to move” : um… well they could try incentives rather than force. “move into a 1bdrm and it’ll be cheaper anyways and we’ll even give you half priced rent for a year, pay moving expenses, etc.” something like that. a lot of ppl would go for it.
They’re not going to be able to do it truly voluntarily, I reckon. I think it’s fair to say that older people tend to be averse to change at the best of times. But also, there’s the problem of taking people away from their communities. The fewer your resources, the more tightly geographically bounded your social circle is likely to be. Mobility is just really expensive. If you have an illness or disability, or you’re old, that goes double. In that case, even moving to a different street in the same suburb or a different floor of the same apartment block can be severely isolating.
The situation in most Australian cities is also that public housing is concentrated in areas that have gone through extraordinarily rapid and complete gentrification since they were built. These older public housing units are likely to be the ones that older public housing residents are living in. They’re also the ones with more bedrooms, as they were built in a time when more people had your traditional nuclear family arrangement, or at least were expected to. And the political will to build new public housing responsive to new social configurations in now-bourgie suburbs hasn’t been there for a really long time. A public housing resident moved out of their old family home is probably not going to be rehoused in vacant one-bedroom housing in the same suburb. that housing just isn’t there. They’re going to be put into newer community housing that’s geographically distant from the community they’ve lived in for most of their lives, and probably also on the poorly serviced and isolated city fringes. Their tenancy will also likely be less secure. it’s just hard to be optimistic about anything that involves asking public housing tenants to move out of super-desirable real estate.