Older citizens and housing policy

Sir, – Des O'Neill's opinion piece reflects upon an insidious and creeping disregard for older people in current Government policies ("Why should nursing home residents carry the can for failed housing policy?", Opinion & Analysis, August 23rd).

The rental proposal for older people in nursing homes appears to be just another policy “wheeze” to throw on the now embarrassing collection of failed housing policy initiatives.

If younger people who have purchased a home were expected to vacate their homes to ease the housing shortage whenever they or their dependants availed of health services, there would be an understandable outcry. What’s different about our older citizens? Or have our politicians and policymakers abandoned all hope of a social housing policy that is a resource to society rather than a market-led investment strategy? The commoditisation of all aspects of life from cradle to grave is not going to solve our housing difficulties while the Government is deferential to the “market” and reticent to make the necessary constitutional adjustments regarding compulsory purchase orders and capped prices on building land, which are all necessary requirements in the greater good of solving our housing crisis. – Yours, etc,




Co Carlow.