Unique Housing Needs of Older People Needs Continued Investment – Senator Fitzpatrick

Published on: 24 January 2024


Speaking on Threshold and Alone’s joint report, Double Deficit: Older and Ageing Persons in the Irish Private Rental Sector, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing and Senator from Dublin Central, Mary Fitzpatrick, said “It is important that we recognise the invaluable contributions of our older population and acknowledge their right to enjoy the later years of their lives without unnecessary stress. Every individual deserves to face old age without the burden of accommodation worries.”

“I welcome this report from Threshold and Alone, which examined the challenges faced by older individuals in the private rental sector and interviewed 31 elderly renters. Among the 330,000 privately rented properties, 17,000 are occupied by individuals over the age of 65. Some older people can find themselves living alone, often grappling with social isolation and a lack of representation. Threshold and Alone have not only captured but amplified their voices.”

Senator Fitzpatrick, who hosted a discussion on the report’s findings in Leinster House, added, “As legislators, it is our duty to put forward housing policies that provide for all of society and prioritise those with the greatest need. The needs of older generations who contributed to the success of our state must always be a priority. We have a moral imperative to develop housing policies that are not only viable and sustainable but are also tailored to meet the specific needs of this vulnerable demographic.”

“In the short term, Housing For All is playing a crucial role in protecting and financially supporting renters. Initiatives such as increasing the social housing income threshold, Housing Assistance Payment, Rental Accommodation Scheme, the €750 Renters Tax Credit, Rent Pressure Zones, and the Tenant in Situ Scheme all provide essential support to tens of thousands of renters.”

“In the medium to long term, it is imperative that government continues to invest in and significantly increase the provision of social and affordable housing. Local Authorities, through their Housing Needs Assessment, must identify, plan for and supply appropriate housing. When a requirement for age-appropriate housing is identified, Local Authorities should ring-fence capital funding to build senior citizen homes. The older person's financial contribution scheme, which is successfully operated by Dublin City Council should be expanded nationwide. All Local Authorities should operate a homeless prevention priority allocation for senior citizens at risk of homelessness. To ensure the state provides adequate housing for our ageing population, the right to housing should be enshrined in our constitution.”

“Fianna Fáil will continue to work with Threshold and Alone to ensure every older person has a safe and secure home that meets their needs.”

 

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