Monday 23 April 2018

Risk of homelessness growing for the elderly

Vincent Browne with (l to r) Christopher Jackson (67), Titi Rose Thompson (67), Noel Murphy (71) at the ALONE launch housing campaign, outside Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Vincent Browne with (l to r) Christopher Jackson (67), Titi Rose Thompson (67), Noel Murphy (71) at the ALONE launch housing campaign, outside Leinster House, Kildare St, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Ian Begley

It is only a matter of time before more older people lose their homes and end up on the streets, a campaign group has warned.

Alone Ireland has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the 'hidden housing crisis' among older people.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of the charity, told the Irish Independent that as people age, they often can no longer afford their rent. "At the moment, an older person relying on their contributory pension can't afford to rent a home," he said.

With the number of elderly rough sleepers relatively low, Mr Moynihan fears the figures will dramatically increase if the government does not act.

The organisation is now calling on the Government to provide funding towards developing a new, age-friendly model of housing. It also wants the Government to update Rebuilding Ireland to reflect the needs of an ageing population.

One man who knows first-hand what it is like to be in this situation in later life is 71-year-old Noel Murphy.

"I was living in a three-bedroom house in Blanchardstown with my family, but due to domestic issues I was plunged into homelessness," he told the Irish Independent. "Every day I had to ring around different hostels just to get a room for the night.

"It was very demoralising."

Mr Murphy was then referred to Alone, which has accommodated him at Willie Bermingham Place for the past three years.

"I can't thank Alone enough for their support. Without their help, who knows, I could be out on the streets," he said.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News