PHOTO: Life shocks are leaving older Australians homeless for the first time in their golden years.

Older Australians are increasingly at risk of homelessness, with life shocks in senior years leaving many without a roof over their head for the first time, new research shows.

Health problems, relationship breakdowns, deaths in the family and rental evictions are among the key factors leaving lifelong renters and property owners homeless in later years, according to an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report.

The proportion of homeless people aged 65 to 74 years old jumped almost 40 per cent in the five years to 2016, and one in every seven people homeless at the last Census was over 55.

“I don’t think people realise how quickly that problem has grown and how much further it has to grow,” said report co-author Professor Andrew Beer of the University of South Australia.