‘Housing for All must deliver for ageing demographic’, says ALONE

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has broadly welcomed the government’s new housing strategy, ‘Housing for All – A New Housing Plan for Ireland’, which was announced earlier today.

Commenting on Housing for All, CEO of ALONE Seán Moynihan stated, “ALONE welcomes the Housing for All strategy, and in particular the focus on older people. We need to grow and maintain support for older people to age safely and securely in their own home. ALONE are reassured with the further reference to building on the work done under the Housing Options for our Ageing Population Policy Statement.”

“The number of people aged over-65 is estimated to be in excess of 740,000 and is projected to increase to 1.6 million in 2051. We need to plan for this increase in our older population and Housing for All can do this by investing in housing options that allow older people to age in their own home.”

The organisation believes that the housing targets announced today need to have a percentage ring-fenced for older people. ALONE estimate that at least 4,590 supportive housing units are needed through social housing per year over the next ten years to meet the needs of the ageing population. ALONE welcome plans for Local Authorities to set out how age-friendly social homes will be delivered for older people, matching the scale and extent of housing need.

Moynihan continued, “The number of people in the private rental market aged 45 – 54 has increased by 248% and by 144% among those aged 55 – 64 from 1991 to 2016, according to the latest Census and we expect this to increase further. We need to consider how will this demographic pay rent in retirement? Without sufficient housing supply across Local Authority, Approved Housing Bodies or subsidised accommodation, the sustainability of these homes on reduced post-retirement incomes is a real concern.”

“As an organisation, we welcome Housing for All and look forward to working with the Minister and his Department in delivering the actions outlined.”