Thinking ahead? Attitudes of older people in Flanders towards future housing options

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


People tend to live longer and express a strong desire to grow old in their familiar environment.
This wish 'to age in place' is not only emanating from older people themselves, but is also referred
to be a policy ideal of enabling people to remain in their homes while ageing. Conversely,
various researchers have emphasized the need for a broader approach and a more diversified
range of future housing. Staying put in traditional family houses should not be considered as
the standard for ageing well and should be seen as a possible option rather than a 'one-stop'
solution. Therefore this article investigates older people's attitudes towards different housing
options and explores which determinants have an influence on these different views. Bivariate
and logistic regressions are applied on data of the Belgian Ageing Studies (N= 35.399). In
general, the results demonstrate that besides the preference of staying in the current dwelling,
respondents tend to be receptive to alternative housing options (e.g. service flats and cohousing).
These options stress the ability of living independent instead of the availability of care (e.g. living
in with children or residential care home). Mainly, the youngest old and older people with a higher socio-economic status (income and education) expressed a more positive attitude towards
these alternatives. More vulnerable groups of older people (the oldest old, with lower monthly
income and lower level of education) tend to give preference towards housing options where
a higher amount of care is available (e.g. living in with children and residential care home). The
results underline the importance to expand housing options for older people and can be used
to develop future housing initiatives. The discussion will give input for a future housing policy
where more attention should be drawn towards 'tailor-made housing'.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)14-38
Number of pages25
JournalRuimte & Maatschappij
Issue numberDecember
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Ageing in place
  • Residential Relocation
  • Housing alternatives

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