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Home & Property

More age-friendly housing in the pipeline

Wednesday, 26th February, 2020 4:17pm

A new organisation dedicated to building age-friendly housing has been launched.

Broadcaster Brendan Courtney launched the new organisation called Clann, which is committed to providing quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities.

Aoife Flynn Kennedy, Head of Clann, said that the need for a dedicated older persons housing service for Ireland’s over 55s has never been greater.

Speaking at the launch, she said: “Clann is committed to empowering our residents to live for as long as possible in sustainable, high-quality, affordable homes in their own community. The key to achieving this is to provide a safe and secure environment with access to all relevant services and community supports.

“Our ambition is to expand and improve housing options for people over the age of 55. That means supporting people to remain living independently for as long as possible and providing more age-friendly homes for people who are inappropriately housed.”

The National Positive Ageing Strategy outlines that the United Nations principles for older persons are the operating principles underpinning the strategy. These principles are independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment and dignity. Clann say that it is committed to delivering housing in line with this national strategy.

Aoife Flynn Kennedy continued: “We believe the time to start planning ahead is now and we are actively seeking partnerships to deliver more age-friendly housing.”

Already the largest provider of age-friendly housing in Ireland having transferred units from Clúid Housing, Clann enters the market issuing a warning that Ireland is facing a potential crisis in older persons’ housing.

She added: “We know from the CSO’s population projections that by 2051, Ireland’s older population will increase by around one million. By 2030, one in five people living in Ireland will be 65 years of age or older. Now is the time to ensure we have the right housing supports in place so that people don’t see nursing homes as their only housing option.

“This means that we must begin planning now to meet that need – otherwise we risk a serious housing crisis for this age group. This will benefit the entire housing market too as it will allow people who want to, to graduate to age-friendly, sustainable housing,” said Aoife.

Aoife also added that Clann is aiming to build an Ireland where everyone has a great place to live, regardless of their age and that its developments will focus on age-friendly housing that meet the needs of their residents.

“We want to empower Ireland’s older people to enjoy life in safe, comfortable and well-designed accommodation, where they can continue to create contribute to the community,” she concluded.

Discussing the new service, Brendan Courtney commented: “This is so exciting and refreshing. This is the answer to housing for people over 55 years of age. There’s no doubt about it, Ireland’s population is getting older. We need to have a frank and honest conversation about how we are going to manage the future housing needs of people over the age of 55.”

Brendan added: “We also need to start thinking about what happens if you or your partner gets sick and your home is no longer suitable, or what plans you need to have in place, so you can make sure you are financially set up for the next part of your life.

“A service like Clann, providing age-friendly housing and services, is exactly what Ireland needs. This is the right time to develop this type of dedicated service and I’m delighted to hear that they already have big plans to deliver more homes across the country,” he concluded.

Clann already has the largest age-friendly social housing development programme in Ireland and plans to increase that to meet the housing demands of Ireland’s ageing population. The ambitious pipeline of 800 plus new homes will be delivered through a mixture of acquisition and construction programmes.

Ireland’s population is getting older and census data shows that in just over 10 years’ time, more than 20 per cent of our population will be aged over 65.

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