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Housing Tenure Transitions of Older Households: How close do they want to live to their kids?

KwanOk Lee and Gary Painter
This study examines the role of the current proximity to children and recent moves of children within a proximate distance in housing tenure transitions of older households. This study is the first to investigate the interplay between health status of older households, moves of their children, and a household’s decision to make housing tenure transitions. In doing so, we rely on longitudinal household data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) with residential location information at the census tract level. The results demonstrate that the proximity to children matters in housing tenure transitions of older households, but that its impacts are not monotonic with respect to the degree of geographic distances. The results also demonstrate that if a child enters their parents’ home, it lowers the probability that older households exit homeownership. On the other hand, homeownership exits are actually more frequent when a child moves closer to the parent, but not in the same residence. Finally, we find no evidence that children’s moves mitigate the likelihood that their older parents with health deterioration become a renter.