ALONE urges the public to support older people experiencing housing difficulties this Christmas

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Appeal to 'Help the Elderly' in our communities

Help someone experiencing difficulties this Christmas.

ALONE is calling on members of the public and Government to take action for older people who are homeless or experiencing the impact of the housing crisis over Christmas.

Older people want to be in their own homes, and at Christmas nothing is more important than the comfort of a warm home. However, many older people will be spending Christmas in emergency accommodation, in unsuitable housing conditions, or in the knowledge that they have notices to quit their rented accommodation – and older people are often forgotten in the narrative of the housing crisis.

ALONE is calling on members of the public to support older people who will not have the security of a comfortable home this Christmas by donating and supporting ALONE’s work. ALONE have opened 1700 housing cases this year and there are more than 250 older people currently on ALONE’s housing waiting list – the highest number ever.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan said: “The Summary of Social Housing Assessments for 2018 released in recent weeks has shown that the number of people aged 70 and over applying for social housing has increased by 9.9% in just one year. The only other increases were for people aged 60-69 years (2.6%) and under 25 (0.7%).”

Moynihan continued, “This year we have worked with more and more people in their 70s and 80s receiving notices to quit who find themselves with nowhere to go. Some of the older people we work with will be spending Christmas and the New Year in B&Bs and unsecure forms of accommodation. Many of the older people we work with who have experienced homelessness are afraid to use hostels and other emergency options, and are sleeping on friends’ sofas or staying in inappropriate accommodation and living conditions. We believe that unless urgent action is taken the housing crisis for older people will get worse in the years to come, as more and more of us rent for longer rather than buying property. Will we see homeless hubs for older people in the years to come?”

He concluded, “This Christmas we want to ensure that people are aware of the impact the housing crisis is having on older people. Receiving a notice to quit when you are younger is extremely difficult, but this challenge is compounded when we reach our 70s and 80s, and especially so during the winter months. The experiences of older people are often forgotten in the narrative of the housing crisis, but people of all ages deserve a home at Christmas time. If anyone has concerns for themselves, an older person they know, or if they would like to donate to support older people who are experiencing these difficulties, they can contact us on 0818 222 024 or email www.alone.ie.”

Contact ALONE 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit www.alone.ie