Today, Tuesday 8th March, the ESRI published “Housing and Ireland’s Older Population”, a new report investigating if the housing shortage in Ireland could be alleviated by incentivising residential mobility among older people who remain in houses that exceed their current requirements. In order to ascertain this, the study used data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), drawing on information from more than 8,000 individuals aged 50 and above.
The research found very little evidence of housing mobility among older people in the period covered. In addition, the authors of this report found that a high proportion of older people living alone occupy small houses with four rooms or less, and so incentivising this group to move may have little impact on the availability of housing suitable for larger households. However, there is a reasonable proportion of older couples living in houses with seven or more rooms.
Commenting on the research, Alan Barrett, Director of the ESRI, stated “While the data show scope to achieve greater availability of housing through incentivising mobility of older people, any such policy should consider the potential for social isolation among older people who move to an unfamiliar area.”
Is housing under-utilised among older people?
Characteristics of older people who move house
When older people move house, do they move to smaller housing or away from urban centres?
Issue of Social Isolation
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.