ALONE, the national organisation that supports older people to age at home, has called for a ring-fenced percentage for older people in the housing targets announced in the government’s housing strategy last week.
Said the organisation’s CEO, Seán Moynihan: “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 is 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 has estimated that a minimum of 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. it has challenged local authorities to respond to this by setting out how age-friendly social homes will be delivered for older people, matching the scale and extent of housing need.
Mr Moynihan continued: “The number of people in the private rental market aged 45 – 54 has increased by 248 per cent and by 144 per cent 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 authorities, 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.”