Accidental landlords

Older people should not feel pressured into renting their home

Proposed new Fair Deal scheme

Observer Staff

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Older people should not feel pressured into renting their home

Oder people should not feel compelled or pressured into renting their home. Under a proposed new Fair Deal scheme, elderly people will be incentivised to become landlords and to rent out their vacant properties in a bid to ease the homeless crisis.

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon explained, “Many residents in nursing homes have no wish to become accidental landlords and still hold onto the wish to return to their home. Returning home is often the only hope that sustains them. 

“The measures announced by Minister Eoghan Murphy sends out a wrong message: the number of houses left vacant by those in nursing home care is small and vacant housing stock alone will not solve the current crisis or prevent future housing crises.

“The headlines I’ve read across the media since these proposals were announced might otherwise read “New plans will see people in nursing homes penalised for not renting out their homes”.

“The decision to rent out your vacant property should not be a contributing factor as to whether you qualify for the Fair Deal Scheme or not. 

“People presenting for nursing home care are amongst the frailest in society and the most vulnerable, and any form of pressure or coercion from government or from their family units would have a seriously detrimental effect on their well-being.

“The fact remains that many older people want to stay at home in familiar surroundings than be forced into a residential setting.  We should be fighting for services that will see people, such as those with dementia, stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.

“Caring for people in their homes frees up capacity in hospitals and other step down facilities.”