According to Treasury Secretary Michael McGrath, the government will “move heaven and earth” to help elderly tenants facing eviction.
His comments followed the publication of a study which revealed that a quarter of older renters expect to remain in the private rented sector for the rest of their lives, reports Breaking News.
Respondents to the study said they simply felt they had no other options if they were not offered access to social or alternative housing.
A joint report by housing association Threshold with Alone – the charity supporting older people – examined a combination of current data, interviews with 31 older tenants and qualitative interviews with 22 representatives from professional organizations with statutory, voluntary, landlord and academic backgrounds.
It was found that 42 per cent of respondents had high levels of stress in the private rented sector, along with the unhealthiness of their accommodation.
Of those surveyed, 16 said they received housing assistance payments (HAPs) and said that although it was necessary to pay for their housing, some of them had a shortfall in covering their rent.
A further 17 per cent of respondents said that landlords were reluctant and sometimes refused to host tenants on ÍCT.
Labour leader Ivana Bacik said: “Our entire housing and pension system has for far too long has relied on the assumption that people over 65 will have paid off their mortgages and will own their own homes and not be renting,” reports Breaking News.
Mr McGrath said the Government is planning for the future and is also providing senior friendly housing and public housing.
Ms Bacik said the prospect of eviction was a “huge difficulty” for older tenants.
Mr McGrath replied: “I just want to give an assurance that particularly when it comes to older people who are served with an eviction notice, we will move heaven and earth to help them and to find the solution,” reports Breaking News.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien welcomed the joint research and stated that it will help inform policies, and target government doings.
“Housing for All, the government’s national strategy, mandates local authorities to develop and submit housing action plans for each of their local authority areas. These plans must include provision for age-friendly housing, both social and private, and ensures that housing provision appropriate to the needs of older people will be delivered, matching the scale and extent of housing demand,” he said, reports Breaking News.
Ann-Marie O’Reilly, national advocacy manager at Threshold said: “It is critical that the recommendations provided in this report are taken into account and the private rental sector becomes a viable and sustainable option of housing for older renters in the coming years,” reports Breaking News.
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