Housing Rules for Older People should not be watered down

27 February 2019

Speaking in advance of the launch of the Government’s policy statement on housing options for older people, Jan O’Sullivan TD has warned that the regulations, standards and quality of housing for older people should not be watered down.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Reports today suggest that developers have been seeking the relaxation of rules and standards for purpose built housing for older people, including the scrapping of Part V obligations. This has already happened with student housing and is something Labour wants to see reversed, and we will oppose any efforts to do the same on purpose built housing for older people.

“If we want to encourage older people to consider moving on from their family homes to step down or ‘right size’ accommodation, we shouldn’t be watering down the planning regulations at the behest of developers.

“Older people deserve quality homes. There should be no deviation from the rules that apply for all other developments. Building standards have been improved over decades for a key reason – to ensure decent, quality homes that are fit for purpose.

“It is also essential that the Part V obligation is retained. This will ensure a good social mix of residents in any specialist housing complexes for older people. It will also provide local authorities with a pipeline of housing specifically for older people that will allow social housing tenants to consider moving on from family homes.

“If the Government want to encourage people in social housing to move with financial incentives as has been reported, then there needs to be a Part V commitment.

“Labour has also consistently called over the last three budgets for a major increase in the housing adaptation grant scheme. I hope that the report launched today will heed that call.”

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