ALONE urge caution as government consider rental scheme for homeowners in long-term residential care

The charity which supports older people is concerned over proposed scheme

 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has voiced it’s concern today as reports emerge of an incentivised rental scheme aimed at older homeowners in long-term residential care. The charity is urging caution towards this proposed plan, outlining a number of key issues which point to an ineffective and costly initiative.


Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We have strong reservations regarding the impact of this initiative, particularly considering the immense effort required to provide high quality, renovated homes, as well as legal and financial safeguarding and management. This proposal appears to neglect the need for long-term housing solutions which should be focused on building and increasing supply.”

ALONE argues that the number of vacant housing resulting from homeowners living in residential care does not offer a significant opportunity to tackle the housing crisis long-term. In Census 2016, only 4,165 (out of 57,246 vacant households recorded) listed ‘reason for vacant’ as being due to the owner being in long-term residential care.


Research by the Health and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) found that almost half (48%) of people aged 50+ have a housing condition problem[1]; more than 12% of people aged 50+ have housing facility problems [2]; and 8.8% of households containing an adult aged 65+ are unable to keep their home adequately warm.[3]


Moynihan continued, “In our experience, these homes may require repair and renovations in order to meet rental standards before they could be brought to market, particularly around issues of heating and insulation. In addition to the physical requirements, older people would face the pressure to meet the criteria of becoming a landlord and incur related legal costs.”


He continued, “We are also concerned about safeguarding individuals’ choice and protecting against financial abuse. Management issues around the house and rental income should be expected and this could be daunting for older people in long-term residential care. “


Finally, ALONE believe the scheme does not create an opportunity for long-term rental properties for tenants as reports show that, once moved to residential care, an older person’s life expectancy averages at 2 to 3 years.


For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit