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Housing occupies a central space among the domains that make up socio-economic position, as a pathway through which social inequalities are transformed into tangible, material living conditions. This paper expands on the consequences of housing tenure histories in the context of the timing of ageing transitions in England.
By explicitly tracing the intergenerational nature of tenure histories, it illustrates the long arm of processes of accumulation of disadvantage and compensatory advantage, with parental circumstances affecting the loss of key resources in later life. Rather than focusing on the stock of these later life resources, this study focuses on their flow, by investigating the rhythm of ageing, seen as the age variability in timing of adverse events such as health loss and wealth loss. Using the harmonized version of waves 3-8 (2006-2018) of English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), as well as the retrospective life history data collected in wave three, we combine sequence analysis with event history analysis.
In broad lines, earlier health loss is associated with precarious housing careers, with those still renting accommodation at age 50 having substantially earlier health loss after taking cohort, gender, ethnicity and occupational class into account. Earlier wealth loss on the other hand is less directly related to final housing status, with those growing up abroad, and buying late also experiencing elevated hazards of wealth loss in later life. Downward housing careers, such as growing up in owned accommodation but not owning as an adult, results in earlier onset of health loss, but not result in earlier wealth loss, demonstrating compensatory effects of an advantaged parental housing background, stretching over decades.
Keywords: ageing housing lifecourse sequences survival timing