Sharing your house with young people can be rewarding and helpful.
Sharing your house with young people can be rewarding and helpful. Jupiterimages

Talking about affordable housing and the older woman

WHILE much is reported about the plight of young people being locked out of the heated property market, little is ever said about the mature person still in a rental situation.

According to Dr Patrica Edgar, affordable housing for the mature single woman is a significant problem, but one that rarely, if not ever, raises its head in the media.

"The entire emphasis in the debate is about young people not being able to get into the housing market,” Dr. Edgar said.

"But about 20 percent of baby boomers are having trouble too.

"And a large number of those people are single women.”

Whether windowed, divorced or never married, the mature woman is especially vulnerable in the rental market according to Dr. Edgar.

"These women don't own houses, they have not got money to pay rent and they can be put on the margins, some even becoming homeless,” she said.

"When we talk about housing it is not just about young people but right across the board.”

Although Dr Edgar sees the solution as simple as home sharing she knows simplicity does not always equate to practicality.

"Home sharing is constructive,” she said.

"People who have lived in homes all their lives do not want to leave them.

"They can be isolated.

"They need to share, take in someone who can help with house work and gardening or getting meals.

"If an older single woman is fortunate enough to own her own home it would help her to share it with young people and give them a help (at saving).

"More senior people need to look at home sharing.”

Dr Patricia Edgar is a social commentator and co-author, with her husband Don Edgar, of Peak: Re-inventing Middle Age.

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