ALONE says solutions in housing for older people solve the housing crisis for all

In its submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing the organisation calls for targeted housing delivery for older people to help increase housing stock for all

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, addressed the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing today to highlight the escalating crisis of homelessness among older people in Ireland.

ALONE stated that they have provided 535 interventions to support older people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness in 2023. Representatives from the organisation told the Committee that “We cannot address homelessness among older people without addressing the underlying issues of social housing delivery and provision of appropriate support and security in the private rental sector”.

The statement underscored the diverse nature of homelessness among older people, extending beyond those in emergency accommodation to encompass those facing imminent housing crises, such as eviction notices, precarious living arrangements, and inadequate housing conditions. These situations paint a concerning picture of the evolving housing landscape for older people in Ireland today for those in their 40s and 50s with little chance of owning a home in retirement.

Furthermore, ALONE drew attention to alarming trends, including the increasing number of older people renting with no safety or security of tenure, growing reliance on local authority housing, declining rates of homeownership, and an increase in older people grappling with mortgage arrears. These trends, set against the backdrop of Ireland’s rapidly ageing population, signal an impending crisis if proactive planning measures are not implemented promptly.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan said “We have been seeing housing issues increase over the last 10 years. The most important questions to be answered are how renters will pay their rent in retirement, and how will they compete and find housing as tenants in an increasingly competitive rental market. It’s the lack of a credible answer that is causing homelessness in older people today and will continue to do so for people in their 40s and 50s when they reach retirement at growing levels each year.

“It’s not a pension crisis we are facing but a housing crisis, that will cost an awful lot more if the right type of housing is not planned for and built. We have a social protection model that relies on people retiring and owning an asset upon retirement, so that they have safe and secure accommodation without significant housing costs.”

ALONE’s submission highlighted challenges in local authority housing delivery for older individuals, citing the record-high number of older people on social housing waiting lists and the absence of specific targets for housing development in several local authorities’ action plans.

The organisation emphasised the need for a huge shift in housing delivery approaches, advocating for at least 25% of social housing to be earmarked for older individuals to mitigate homelessness risks, meaning at least 40,000 houses.


ALONE is a national organisation that enables older people to age at home. Our work is for all older people and aims to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. We have a National network of staff and volunteers who provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support and Assistive Technology. We use individualised support plans, to address health, financial benefits and supports, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and harness other services. We work to empower the whole sector of community support for older people through our Community Impact Network that provides Training, IT support and resources to other organisations.

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