What women want: single older women and their housing preferences

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Publication details

Darab, S, Hartman, Y & Holdsworth, L in press, 'What women want: single older women and their housing preferences', Housing Studies.

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It is increasingly recognized in Australia that single, older women are particularly vulnerable to housing-related stress and homelessness. This paper reports on a qualitative study that explored the housing experiences of single, older, non-homeowning women in regional New South Wales, Australia. Interviews were conducted with 47 participants living independently in precarious housing. This paper focuses upon the housing preferences expressed by the participants. A feminist standpoint perspective was adopted and thematic analysis was employed to interrogate the data. Findings showed the women’s primary preference is security of tenure in housing that is affordable and suited to their needs. Further, they want to feel they have autonomy in the private sphere. Over the participants’ life course, twin discourses of patriarchy and neoliberalism were identified as influential in shaping social arrangements, both in Australia and other developed countries. These findings may assist policy-makers in planning future housing for this ageing cohort.

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