Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
205. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the incentives his Department has in place or plans to put in place to support house owners who wish to relocate from properties that are too big for their needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38772/21]
Firstly, it is important to note that it is settled Government policy to support older people to live in their own homes and communities with dignity and independence for as long as possible, as this has the best outcomes both for the individual and for society as a whole. I recognise, however, that there are some people who, for various reasons, may wish to move from larger houses to smaller houses, or to apartments, and it is important that they have the option to do so.
Secondly, my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Health, is developing policy options in support of a range of housing and accommodation alternatives for older people including supported housing/housing with care in accordance with the principles of the joint policy statement, "Housing Options for Our Ageing Population". This policy statement was published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department of Health in 2019. The policy statement is available on my Department's website at:
A number of the 40 Actions in the Joint Statement consider the issue of rightsizing within the context of providing a variety of housing options for older people depending on their circumstances. Some local authorities already provide for such "rightsizing" for their tenants who express a wish to be allocated older person's specific housing or a smaller dwelling such as an apartment instead of a house.
My Department and the Implementation Group for the Joint Statement are examining various "rightsizing" support options and a number of research projects are informing this work. It is intended that the Implementation Group will provide its final report addressing each of the 40 actions, including those relating to rightsizing, by the end of 2021.
Finally, the issues of ageing in place and rightsizing are being considered in the context of preparations for the Government's new Housing Strategy - Housing for All.