Two global trends are occurring concurrently: urbanization and population ageing. Today, almost half of the world's population lives in cities, and by the year 2025, city dwellers are projected to account for more than two-thirds of the world's population. At the same time, populations throughout the world are ageing,. Although this occurs at different rates, in practically every country, unproved sanitation, health care, and education have increased longevity. Our cities and towns will increasingly be populated with more people, and with people who will live longer than before.
Regardless of culture, housing is the single most important environmental factor associated with life expectancy. Generally, elderly people living in a family situation have fewer housing problems that those who live alone, though the quality of housing depends on a variety of factors related to other members of the household. It also depends on a variety of other social, economic, and political factors. There are two major public policy debates now raging. The first is who is responsible for the care of elderly people. The second is how income health, housing, and social services should be Integrated. How these questions are answered has implications for housing and services available to older people. The solutions vary as much as countries vary; but a common feature is the desire to promote a supportive environment to ageing populations.
Published as a special issue of Ageing International, the official journal of the International Federation of Ageing, this volume surveys the status of housing policies for elderly populations worldwide. Countries covered include Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Taiwan. Contributors are researchers with extensive knowledge of the elderly and housing policies in the countries. This volume will be of special interest to professionals working with the elderly, urban affairs specialists, and those interested in comparative social policy.