Blamed baby boomers take on the big houses

One factor that is not explicitly addressed in your articles is the increase in longevity (“Young families driven out because empty nests will not dislodge”, June 9). Fifty years ago, the average Australian longevity was 71 years, it is now over 83 years. The retreat was a short time before death. Some have chosen to relocate to coastal vacation towns to see their lives in a relaxed setting. As there was little or no medical intervention for old age ailments, being near the city’s well-endowed medical facilities was not the consideration it may be today. The result of increased longevity is that people who would have sold in their 60s often don’t do so until they are 80, when their ability to lead an active independent life begins to be compromised. It’s another 20 years to wait before there is a revival in a well-established suburb. Deborah Smythe, Kundabung

How nerve to suggest that young families have more rights to detached houses with backyards than “boomers” (“Retirees must make room for young families in central Sydney”, June 6). In the 1960s, most of us rented drab basic apartments for years, saved up a lot, and then took out first and second mortgages at up to 17% interest rates to buy homes. Very basic three bedroom homes in the outer suburbs. We built equity capital and only then could we have moved on to bigger and more comfortable homes. Many millennia will inherit our homes anyway after we die. Brian O’Donnell, Burradoo

My wife and I are not against leaving our home and we would consider moving if nearby accommodation could also be found for our GP, team of specialist doctors, pharmacist, dentist, butcher and members. of our close family. It’s not essential, but a nearby Dan Murphy just might close the deal. Trevor Somerville, Illawong

Growing old is confusing; we are encouraged to stay in our homes as long as possible, we can get help for that, which relieves hospitals and nursing homes. Now we are mean and selfish in not selling our homes to make room for the younger ones. Not all seniors live in mansions; we can finally have a recreation room or a room for visitors or grandchildren, because after years of hard work we finally have time to catch up, and most of us are busier than ever. Robyn Hansen, Pennant Hills

Older people do not “refuse” to leave their home to make it available to potential buyers. Like every generation, they have the right to keep their home as long as they want. Any suggestion that older people should be forced to relocate or downsize is “social engineering” or manipulation. Let the elders make our own choices. We will not live forever. Ian Roberts, War wood

Another reason that grandparents may be reluctant to leave their large homes is the fact that most legal entities do not allow pets in apartments or multi-unit buildings. If Betty and John Citizen can’t take Flossie or Fido with them, they are forced to either stay where they are or relocate their beloved pets or worse. Keith Sutton, Leichhardt

Is it empty nests or the price of real estate that keeps young families away from homes? There is no way that others can understand the emotional attachment to a home where families have lived, and perhaps have died, or where the memories run so deep for those who own them. Also, when the extended family comes home, it is so good for them to be able to fit into the house that they grew up in. Mary Grocott, Orange

Contempt for the dam

The elegant and detailed response of indigenous leaders to the proposed elevation of the Warragamba dam wall highlights the misery and shameful power of the settlers who perpetuate the elimination of First Nations culture (“Dam investigation downplays cultural risks ”, 6 June). We need our political leaders to generate culturally appropriate responses and not trample on the rights of indigenous peoples. Their human history is our human history. We all want him to survive. Anne Eagar, Epping

Tables fill in the gap in math

Fifteen years ago, as a grandparent, I recognized that the gaping hole in the math curriculum was the failure to teach multiplication tables to children under eight and the only way to to do it was the automatic repeat (“The numbers are there and the math is the problem”, June 6). To that end, on every road trip I have taken with my grandsons, we have sung the tables together, just as I did in class many years ago. It was gratifying to see the result – the instant recall of the multiplication tables helped make it easier to understand more complex math problems. Elizabeth Maher, Bangor

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