Family home only certainty in retirement

“CPSA welcomes the sound and very useful research the Productivity Commission has done in its research paper Housing Decisions of Older Australians, but urges the Commission to finally let go of its obsession with older Australians’ family home”, said Amelia Christie, Manager Research and Advocacy.

“The exemption of the family home from age (and other) pension means testing is not based on some irrational fear. Pensioners want that exemption because the family home is the only certainty they have in retirement. As the Productivity Commission notes, there have been multiple reviews that argue the economic point that the family home exemption distorts and constrains the range of accommodation and retirement incomes choices of older Australians. However, the economic point is not the point. The point is that older Australians want the certainty of having a roof over their head without being forced to sell it (or hock it as part of a reverse mortgage) to pay for groceries.

“Family homes lock up a lot of equity, but this is the result of Australia’s laissez-faire, free-market approach to housing. Australia’s lack of a housing policy allows too much capital to be allocated to non-productive assets in the form of housing and changing this should be the policy priority, not making older Australians feel insecure in housing they spent a lifetime paying off.”

“CPSA calls on the Turnbull Government to create a housing ministry and charge it with the task of creating a comprehensive housing policy with the aim of achieving housing security for all”, said Ms Christie.

Contact: Amelia Christie
Mobile: 0410 612 182