Housing Committee Selects ‘Age-Friendly’ Co. Louth to Launch New Report on Housing Options for Older People.10 July 2018
The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government has today published its ‘Report on Housing Options for Older People’.
The report was launched at the 'Great Northern Haven', a unique housing development established by Netwell CASALA, the Research Centre for Ageing at DkIT and Louth County Council which uses cutting edge technology to provide accommodation for older people.
Speaking at the launch, Committee Chairperson, Maria Bailey TD, said, “Ireland as a nation is growing older and living longer and this is something to be celebrated. However, as the population of older people increases, Ireland will have to adapt its current housing policy to facilitate this change in demographics. We must begin the conversation about the changes in our society today so the future doesn’t surprise us. With this in mind, the Committee undertook a series of meetings and stakeholder engagement with the aim of publishing a report that would assist in the future planning in this area.”
“The report we have published today makes eight practical recommendations, taking into consideration the health, social and economic needs of older people. In order for older people to live at home and in their own communities for as long as possible, we are recommending that the Housing Adaption Grant eligibility age be lowered from 66 to 60. This would go a long way towards making homes more suitable for an older person and allow them to have necessary adaptions made in good time, rather than perhaps at a later time when a health issue develops, perhaps suddenly.”
“The Committee is also calling for mechanisms to be developed which would incentivise and promote the construction of housing options and residential care facilities located in town centres or central locations within easy access of local services. Isolation is a real concern for older people and it is important that housing developments for older people are within easy access of transport links and social opportunities.”
“As part of our stakeholder engagement, we met with several organisations involved in front line services and also representatives from Great Northern Haven, a development which offers a community alternative to residential care, incorporating a range of smart living technologies to make accommodation suitable for the older people who live there. This kind of innovation and creativity is what we want to encourage and promote in local communities right across Ireland. With the relevant Ministers, Departments, State Agencies and stakeholders, the Committee is fully committed to monitoring the progress being made on the on-going implementation of the recommendations contained in our report as well as other housing policy initiatives.”
The Committee have made eight recommendations in total including:
- housing typologies in housing developments be required to match the age demographic of the area in which the development is being proposed;
- that mechanisms be developed to incentivise and promote the construction of housing options and residential care facilities located in town centres or central locations within easy access of local services;
- that the Housing Adaption Grant eligibility be lowered from 66 years of age to 60 years of age;
- that a cost benefit analysis be conducted into the exact costs per unit and the corresponding long term savings of implementing universal design into all housing
- that funding be standardised across local authorities for the Housing Adaption Grant.
Read the full Report here.
More information about Great Northern Haven can be found here.
About Netwell CASALA:
NetwellCASALA is a Research Centre in Dundalk Institute of Technology, specialising in researching innovations to support Ageing in Place (i.e. technologies and programmes which can help older people to live at home for longer).
The research centre has received over €12 million in funding over the past ten years to support its key projects. These include the Great Northern Haven, assisted living apartment complex in Barrack Street Dundalk, ProACT a European Commission Horizon 2020 project, MAESTRO and EU Ambient Assisted Living innovation project and Social Innovation Ireland’s Google ThinkTech project along with several key applied research projects and social innovation programmes.
ProACT is a €4.87million European Commission Horizon 2020 project, which aims to develop an ecosystem to integrate a wide variety of new and existing technologies to improve and advance home based integrated care for older people with two or more diseases (COPD, Chronic Heart Failure, Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease).
The eco-system is centred on the older person and consists of homecare, hospital care, community care and social support networks. ProACT is a consortium led by Trinity College and includes the HSE, IBM Research, AIAS, NetwellCASALA, IMEC, Tyndall National Institute, Treelogic, Home Instead Senior Care, EASPD and ASP di Bologna. The project started in June 2016 and is due to complete in 2019.
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