Single women aged 55 and over are overrepresented amongst the asset poor in Australia. They are also one of the fastest growing groups of homeless people nationally. This is a product of a number of gendered risks that accrue to women across the life course, including gendered differences in pay, superannuation and care responsibilities. It is also an outcome of a housing system that offers few options to low income households.

The project Ageing, home and housing security among single, asset-poor older women investigated the housing and home-making experiences of older women living in and around greater Sydney, Australia. It questioned how housing policy and governance and ongoing housing mobility inform how single asset-poor older women create a sense of home and security and explores the stability of women’s senses of home, security and belonging as they negotiated asset and income insecurity.

This research has motivated my growing concern with questions of care. It has driven my interrogation of the care ethics that inform housing systems and informed a growing research agenda concerned with the possibility of more caring and just cities.

The research was funded through an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and supported by Western Sydney University. The research built on an earlier partnership with the former UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT 'Examining innovations in aged care: affordable housing, healthy ageing', which investigated residents’ experiences of an innovative housing model designed for single low income, asset poor older women.

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