ALONE, the national charity that enables older people to age at home, has called for urgent action to combat the growing housing crisis among older people, as the Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2022 figures are released today.
Figures released by the Department of Housing today show that the proportion of households with a main applicant over 60 years of age has been growing year on year since 2016. There were 6,901 older people aged 60+ on the waiting list in 2022, making up 12% of those on the social housing waiting list. The number of people aged 70+ on the social housing waiting list in 2022 increased to over 2,000 for the first time, reaching 2,023 people.
“These figures are extremely concerning and reflect what we are seeing on the ground,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan. “We are currently working with older people who have received notices to quit their rental accommodation and others who are sleeping on sofas, living in cars or caravans, and in other unsuitable situations, because they have not been able to find alternative housing.”
“We are also seeing that older people are struggling more to access social housing that is equipped to their needs. We are working with several social housing tenants, for example, that cannot manage the stairs in their apartment complexes and are essentially trapped in their own homes but cannot be transferred due to lack of availability.”
He continued, “We need an increasing percentage of social housing to be developed for older people to match our changing demographics. Ireland is getting older, and we are renting for longer. With more than one in four applicants on the social housing waiting list aged 50+, the need to provide age-appropriate housing for older people is not going away. However, some Local Authorities have not committed to providing any age-friendly housing in their Action Plans from 2022-2026, and still others have committed to providing insignificant numbers. As well as building houses, we need to make sure we build the right houses, and unless significant action is taken, we will see the numbers of older people waiting for social housing continue to increase.”
Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in the community. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie .