Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Housing Provision for Older People: Discussion

Mr. Seán Moynihan:

On the universal design, the centre of universal design, under Dr. Ger Craddock, has done huge work and most people are supportive of that. They have done a lot of costings and, under Housing for All, a report is due soon. They are coming out with there being between 3% and 5% in extra cost per unit for universal design. I agree with the Senator that, ultimately, for future proofing and stopping us having to retrofit in the future, it makes more sense to put that investment in now.

On the local authority, between the local authorities and the HSE, the Department of Health and others, there is much common ground in the understanding of the issues that face older people around housing. The problem we have is probably agreed models, implementation and funding mechanisms so that if people need care and support, the question is: how do they tap into that? Obviously, the right to home care that is progressing at present and the quality standards in legislation will go some way towards that, but that can be the challenge because the same people who sometimes need support also need housing and maybe the supports that people need are beyond the statutory responsibility of the local authorities. That is why we would focus on that joint policy statement. That is where they intersect. That is where they have identified where those sections are. If we do not get implementation on those intersections, ultimately older people will fall between the different Departments.