Elderly could share large homes ‘in exchange for practical support’ under new scheme

House-splitting and home-sharing among options proposed in Government report

Options under consideration could include breaks on capital gains tax, or on stamp duty for the “age-friendly” homes.

Options under consideration could include breaks on capital gains tax, or on stamp duty for the “age-friendly” homes.

 

Older people living in homes that are too big for them could be matched with people to fill their rooms under a new scheme to be announced on Wednesday.

According to a Government report, ‘Housing Options for our Ageing Population’, a new scheme is to be launched on a phased basis with with support staff to address the housing issues for older people and the housing needs of others.

“This scheme will match those older people with under occupancy that wish to share their home with persons who require housing in exchange[S] for providing practical support. This scheme will also support older people to address any housing and tenancy issues they have and ensure that their homes are fit for purpose and a safe place to live,” the report notes.

The report said the plan includes funding “innovative approaches to developing new housing options for older people” including home-sharing and house-splitting.

It was reported earlier this week that the Government is also looking at ways to incentivise people to sell their homes and downsize to the retirement-type communities.

Options under consideration could include breaks on capital gains tax, or on stamp duty for the “age-friendly” homes.

The report, to be launched on Wednesday, was drawn up by the Department of Health and the Department of Housing. The policy report notes it will introduce financial services and develop the provision of financial incentives to support older people in both public and private housing to “rightsize” to more energy efficient and appropriate housing units.

Under the plan, local authorities will identify and assign an individual on their housing teams to work with older people in terms of sourcing appropriate accommodation.

The plans would see the development of “age-friendly” housing estates for older people, where they would live in own-door accommodation. The communities would be supported with services, such as primary care and nursing staff, and on-call care attendants.

The housing would be an “alternative” to the nursing home model, said Minister of State with responsibility for older people Jim Daly.

“There is a compelling case for examining the potential of new housing models, including those with associated care and support models which fall between home care and full-time nursing home care,” said Mr Daly.

“The objective is to ensure older people stay socially connected within their community and to provide essential care and supports where needed, while preserving and protecting independence, functionality, and social connectedness for as long as possible, in a way that is as affordable as possible for older people themselves and sustainable for the State,” he said.