Friday 22 March 2019

10 key measures in housing plan - from incentives for 'right-sizing' to expanding care in communities

Blueprint: Junior Health Minister Jim Daly and Junior Housing Minister Damien English with models of houses which won an architecture competition sponsored by Age Friendly Ireland. Photo: Collins
Blueprint: Junior Health Minister Jim Daly and Junior Housing Minister Damien English with models of houses which won an architecture competition sponsored by Age Friendly Ireland. Photo: Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

There are 40 actions in the Government's ambitious proposals on housing options for Ireland's ageing population. Here are 10 key measures:

1. Establish ways to incentivise older people in public and private housing to "right-size" to appropriately sized units if they choose to do so. Exploring options is to start by the end of June and the establishment of a formal scheme in social housing is to take place in 2019.

2. Undertake research on housing circumstances and attitudes of homeowners aged 55-plus. A focus will be on factors that may inhibit or encourage them to seek properties better suited to their circumstances, typically right-sizing.

3. Increase the funding of the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme by the end of 2019.

4. Provide a "blueprint" for approved housing bodies, local authorities and private developers on how to fund and build new housing developments for older people.

5. Deliver actions from the cross-party Sláintecare plan for the health service, including expanding community-based care aimed at keeping people healthy and independent for longer.

6. Introduce measures in partnership with the construction industry to ensure 30pc of all new dwellings are built to incorporate design principles to accommodate an ageing population. This would start in 2020 and be delivered over five years.

7. Local authorities will identify and assign staff and individuals on their housing teams to work with older people in terms of sourcing appropriate accommodation by the end of the third quarter of 2019.

8. Ensure developments for older people are built close to essential services, exploring the best locations for "age-friendly neighbourhoods".

9. Ensure new homes have renewable and energy efficient systems to alleviate fuel poverty.

10. Identify where technology supports can be funded through existing streams including the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme by the end of the year.

An inter-departmental implementation group is to be set up next month with an independent chairperson "to drive progress on the actions and ensure an integrated approach to their delivery".

Irish Independent

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