Stress caused by renting is accelerating biological ageing for women.
Recent research from the University of Adelaide and the University of Essex has unveiled a startling connection between renting privately and accelerated biological aging, particularly impacting women under 40.
This phenomenon, where the body’s cells and tissues incur damage faster than usual, is linked to the stress and uncertainty inherent in rental living.
The study’s findings suggest that the health detriments of renting surpass even the challenges of unemployment or the long-term effects of smoking. This revelation is critical in understanding how housing stability influences overall well-being.
Highlighting the research, Professor Emma Baker from the University of Adelaide emphasized in an ABC radio interview the significant difference in biological aging between private renters and those in social housing or owning their homes.
For every year spent in a private rental, the biological age could increase by approximately two and a half weeks. This discrepancy, according to Professor Baker, likely stems from the increased security and stability experienced by social renters and homeowners.
While the study focused on the UK, its implications resonate strongly in Australia, where the rental market faces similar, if not more acute, challenges.
With escalating rents, dwindling availability, and overcrowding becoming more common, Australian renters are at a tipping point, especially in Bondi and Sydney’s eastern suburbs
This research could potentially catalyse a shift in housing policies in Australia. Professor Baker suggests that enhancing the security of tenancy, such as through longer lease terms, could mitigate some of the adverse health impacts associated with renting.
The goal is to foster a rental market where long-term, secure residency is a viable option, ultimately improving the health and wellbeing of renters.
In summary, this study sheds light on the urgent need to address rental market issues, not just for the sake of housing but also for the health and longevity of those who rent, particularly women under 40.