Making Home: Designing homes for older women at risk of homelessness


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Samantha Donnelly

Older women’s lived experience of different housing types is not well understood or documented. How do we design housing for older women at risk of homelessness? What do these women need to make a place they can call home?

In the coming years, Victoria’s Big Housing Build will deliver thousands of homes for vulnerable Victorians. It is important that we get this right.

Recent research by architects Samantha Donnelly and Sophie Dyring evaluated four different housing types provided to women over 45 at risk of homelessness in suburban Melbourne. The research explored how housing design impacts the lives of these women, how interior and exterior spaces are valued and how their homes could be improved to further enrich their lives.

Join us for a discussion with the authors and participants of this research. The conversation will look at the important role design has to play in housing older women at risk of homelessness. It will address the idea of home as a safe refuge, a foundation for economic security and look at the design considerations that allow women to make these houses, homes.