Wednesday, 27 February 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I wish to ask the Leader if we could have a debate on the housing options for our ageing population. I have just come from the AV room which was packed this morning for the launch of a Government document on housing options for our ageing population. The Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Damien English, and the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Jim Daly, who has responsibility for older people, set out the excellent Government policy on housing options for our aging population. The real devil in the detail is that we must see performance, deadlines and targets for how it will happen. It is all very aspirational. I accept that every plan must have aspirations but it must also have mechanisms for monitoring its implementation. The reality is that we know many elderly people are living in houses that are perhaps a bit too big for them. They would like to trade down but they do not have the option because of the lack of supply of smaller residential units within their community where they wish to live and where they are involved in the community and have their library and doctor, and where they go to mass or wherever else. People want to stay within their communities. We all know that from our involvement in local government and in relation to housing. This is a really good policy document and I urge everyone to pick it up today. It has only just been launched in the past half hour. It is really good and interesting. If there is a slot sometime in the future I ask the Leader to set aside some time for the Ministers to come in and outline their vision on the policy and, more important, their timelines for the introduction of the various measures within it.