Age Friendly Ireland has supported the development and implementation of the joint departmental policy document ‘Housing Options for an Ageing Population’ 2019 (DHPLG and Dept Health). This is a new policy that aims to put more housing choices in place for people as they age.
A key principle underpinning Government housing policy is to support older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence for as long as possible. The aim is to ensure that older people will have greater choice by developing a range of housing options that are suited to their needs, so they can plan ahead and, insofar as possible, choose the right home for them.
In response to Action 4.13: Local Authorities will identify and assign an individual on their housing teams to work with older people in terms of sourcing appropriate accommodation, all Local Authorities have assigned a staff member to undertake the role so that we will have this resource available in all of the 31 local authorities across the country.
A member of staff at the appropriated technical level of expertise has participated in training provided by Age Friendly Ireland to enable them to become the local authority specific age friendly Housing Specialist. This will ensure that they can provide specialist advice to the authority itself, to private sector interests who want to get involved in providing age-friendly housing and to individuals from the public generally.
The Age Friendly Housing Specialist will:
- Act as the key point of contact for matters relating to age friendly housing technical queries specifically around designing for life and universal design principles
- Respond to and progress referrals and queries from a range of sectors including in house staff (particularly across Planning & Housing), external stakeholders & agencies, private sector developers, Approved Housing Bodies and individuals
- Provide clients with information on key contacts within your organisation to discuss issues and solutions around age friendly housing and public realm works
- Refer to models of good/best practice in other areas and sharing technical plans and development specification
- Provide contacts, as appropriate, of people outside the organisation who might be able to provide technical guidance and assistance particularly in relation to universal design principles and crime prevention through environmental design principles
- Work closely with their local Age Friendly Programme Managers and the Age Friendly Ireland shared service team in relation to strategy implementation and translation of policy objectives at local level
- Record progress and monitoring referrals, developments, adoption of principles and outcomes to inform the national report from Age Friendly Ireland to the Department of Housing Planning & Local Government under the National Implementation Group.