Action 2.16 of Rebuilding Ireland states that my Department will bring forward pilot projects, beginning with Dublin City Council, based on best practice and cost effectiveness taking a cross Departmental/inter-agency approach to housing initiatives for older people.
The aim of this Action is to examine the potential for mainstreaming best practice projects, which bring together the HSE and local authorities with designers and academic groups. Such models would cater for those who, while not requiring full nursing home care, have been assessed as having healthcare needs that can be met in the community.
Work on this Action has been underway for some time now and a pathfinder project at St.Michael's Estsate, Inchicore, Dublin 8 will include 52 'living with support' homes for older people. The 'housing with support' model brings together a range of services and supports, principally relating to housing, community, social and care needs. It seeks to provide an appropriate physical and supportive environment that enables older persons to live in their own homes within their own community, thereby both promoting independence and reducing or deferring the need to move into long term residential care.
The project is underpinned by a cross-Departmental inter-agency approach and involves cooperation between my Department, the Housing Agency, Dublin City Council, HSE, the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), Circle VHA and Alone.
This pilot project has been approved for funding through my Department's Capital Assistance Scheme and is currently at planning permission stage, with construction likely to commence in or around Summer 2020.
In tandem with the work on the St. Michael’s project, housing initiatives for older people are also a focus of the policy statement ‘Housing Options for our Ageing Population’ which was jointly published by my Department and the Department of Health. An Implementation group, which includes a range of stakeholders, has been put in place to work on the Actions under the Statement and will be reporting to myself and to my colleague, Minister Daly, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People.