Government to begin paying older people to downsize

jpd

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I happen to know quite a few seniors that are keen to downsize from large family homes to modern apartments. It can make a lot of economic sense.

The problem they typically run into is a lack of suitable apartments in their desired location.
I was involved in a project in a well-to-do community to convert 2 4-bed semis into a number of smaller apartments to provide properties for seniors to downsize and remain within the same locality. The project ran into a brick wall from the very start with opposition from all sides of the community

So imho, the lack of suitable apartments is down to lack of understanding and foresight amongst political leaders who cannot, and will not, try to educate local communities on the benefits of having a mix of residences in a neighbourhood
 

Early Riser

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Because the next step is disincentivising people from staying in their family homes. Newstalk referred to the idea of a “bed tax” similar to the very old window tax.
I haven't heard the Newtalk "talk". But I would be more than surprised if there were to be any proposal along these lines.
What is being talked about are ideas around incentives and alternatives. If people have some reasoned opposition to either of these then by all means lets hear it. But frankly, I think it is bizarre to be getting outraged (I am not suggesting that you are) about something that is being proposed - and which, on the face of it, seems positive all round - on the basis of something else that could speculatively happen.

It would be easy to speculate about all sorts of things that could happen (Why not confiscation of private property? After all it could happen.). Would it not be better to focus on the pros and cons of current proposals - or what we know of them at this stage.

By the way, I believe the window tax was abolished in 1851? Perhaps a light tax would be more appropriate nowadays?;)
 

AlbacoreA

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That is absolutely fine, Gordon. But none of us know how or when our circumstances might change, eg, health, disability, need to access equity for unforeseen reasons. It would be nice to think that there might be a lot more options for older people to downsize than there are now, eg, suitable apartments in central locations, low dependency communities.

And even if you never want to (or opt to) move, others may choose to do so for whatever reason. If it suits them and if it simultaneously frees up a family home, that seems like a win/win.

I am not sure why this seems so threatening to some.
Its unworkable. Even before you look at the track record with housing, health etc.
But the Govt and Lobbyists will keep at it, not doubt. Blind leading the blind over a cliff.

People don't downsize because there is no supply of suitable properties to downsize too. There is no financial advantage in doing so either.
In fact a larger property might be more suitable for converting for accessible bathrooms, bedrooms and stair-lifts, ramps, accessible vehicles, mobility aids.
As they have the space to accommodate them. Also same for family members to stay over, live in nurses etc.

So do you spend all the money on taxes and fees on moving to something smaller, or use the money to convert where you currently own.
Considering the medical card has been stripped off them anyway.


Build more houses and stop wasting time with these political soundbites.
 

MangoJoe

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Given that so many people do seek to downsize anyhow for lots of sensible and practical reasons surely there would be a case to be made for policy to incentivise this to facilitate more people to go ahead and do it and make it easier and more attractive to those who mightn't otherwise have taken the opportunity.

Personally speaking if I get to the stage in life where my kids have moved out and I have become a custodian to a pile of empty bedrooms and am still devoting hours to cutting the grass/hedges/etc then I have very definitely taken a wrong turn somewhere.

I hope to sell up and buy somewhere nice and manageable by the Sea.
 
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Folsom

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Hi

I and my wife and two kids currently live with my mother in law. We were renting in Dublin but my wife lost her job and rents got too high. My wife started working again last Summer and we are staying in the three bed terrace and are close to saving a deposit of our own.

Whilst reading about mortgages on this site I came across this topic and the interesting views expressed.
It also became apparent to me that if we move out we will leave my mother in law in a three bed terrace by herself. Considering the housing shortage and the circumstances upon which we find ourselves rearing two kids, should it not be a case of my wifes mother moving out and leaving us with the accommodation?
We would gladly pay her rent and pay towards a deposit if she wanted to buy elsewhere.
 

Early Riser

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Its unworkable.
Perhaps and perhaps not. I think there are quite a few people who would be interested in alternatives and would consider downsizing if good options were available. I certainly don't think that building more and more three and 4 bed semis at ever more distant locations is a "solution" that works well for almost anyone.

It is , in my opinion, well worth trying some alternatives. Then we will know whether they will work or not (I don't think anyone is suggesting that this is "the solution" in itself). And providing suitable alternatives obviously includes making provision for supports and adaptations an aging person might need. To me this makes more sense than than building in stairlifts, etc. into older two-storey, four-bedroom houses. They are good family homes as they are and if some older people free them up by choosing to move to something they consider more suitable, that is fine by me. (By the way, I am not on the look-out to acquire one of these vacated houses!)
 

Early Riser

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Considering the housing shortage and the circumstances upon which we find ourselves rearing two kids, should it not be a case of my wifes mother moving out and leaving us with the accommodation?
Does your mother-in-law own her house ? She certainly shouldn't be obliged to move out to accomodate yourselves. But it would be nice if there was an alternative available within the broader vicinity that she could consider and which may suit her better as she ages.

What happens otherwise? You and your wife purchase a family house somewhere far away(maybe Carlow or Longford would suit?) and commute to work. All your time is taken up, so your wife and her mother hardly get to see each other and you are both unavailable to give her supports if she needs it down the road. Her house may need adaptations as she get older. Without supports she may eventually (and prematurely) have to enter a nursing home.

However, we have to stick with things as they are now because to offer alternatives would be outrageous and would, of course, open the door to property confiscation (well you never know what might happen!)
 

Folsom

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Does your mother-in-law own her house ?
She does yes, but im not sure what that has got to do with anything. She will be living on her own in a three bed, while we will be lucky to afford a 3-bed, rented or otherwise.
If the issue is a shortage of suitable accommodation then she should be the one to move out.
Im not suggesting forcing her out, but an incentive for her to move could be for the state to forgo property tax on her down-sized accommodation?
 

RETIRED2017

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She does yes, but im not sure what that has got to do with anything. She will be living on her own in a three bed, while we will be lucky to afford a 3-bed, rented or otherwise.
If the issue is a shortage of suitable accommodation then she should be the one to move out.
Im not suggesting forcing her out, but an incentive for her to move could be for the state to forgo property tax on her down-sized accommodation?
With an attitude like that I would not be surprised if one will be moving out ,I suspect it will not be the mother in law,
Are you expecting our right wing government and the mother in law to support you,
 

PGF2016

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Hi

I and my wife and two kids currently live with my mother in law. We were renting in Dublin but my wife lost her job and rents got too high. My wife started working again last Summer and we are staying in the three bed terrace and are close to saving a deposit of our own.

Whilst reading about mortgages on this site I came across this topic and the interesting views expressed.
It also became apparent to me that if we move out we will leave my mother in law in a three bed terrace by herself. Considering the housing shortage and the circumstances upon which we find ourselves rearing two kids, should it not be a case of my wifes mother moving out and leaving us with the accommodation?
We would gladly pay her rent and pay towards a deposit if she wanted to buy elsewhere.
You can do all that without government intervention. Have you suggested this to you mother in law?
 

Early Riser

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She does yes, but im not sure what that has got to do with anything.
If she owns her own house , you or no one else has the right (or should I say "entitlement") to expect her to move out to accommodate you and your wife (or anyone else). But, yes, it would seem that separate accomodation is warranted.

However, if she thought her house no longer suited her it would be good if something more age appropriate were available and/or she had an incentive to move. As it is her house she could sell it to whoever she likes.
 

Folsom

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I dont understand the criticism here. There is a housing shortage. Me and my family are looking for suitable accommodation. We are competing with others in similar situations.
If we find suitable accommodation we move out, but blocking another family from finding a suitable home and leaving my mother in law with a three bed house to herself. A three bed is suitable for us, not for her.
If she found a one or two bed, it would suit everyone.
I think something similar was advocated at the start of the topic?
 

Early Riser

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she should be the one to move out.
I dont understand the criticism here
You seem to be suggesting that your mother in law should be obliged (or at least feel obliged) to move elsewhere in order to accomodate you. I am not aware of this being suggested in this thread elsewhere. It is her house. She is under no obligation to you or your family. She should stay if this is what suits her.

On the other hand, she might of her own accord think that her house is no longer suitable to her needs but is unable to find somewhere more suitable - or finds the moving costs prohibitive. The suggestion is that it might be useful to support this in some way, thus freeing up a family home. The starting point would be her own needs and free choice. If she moved she could sell her house to whoever she wanted at the best price she could get. This may not be to you.

A three bed is suitable for us, not for her.
Who has decided that - you or her? Your posts suggest that you think you are somehow entitled to her house because of your needs.
 

PMU

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Considering the housing shortage
Is there? The CSO says thath the number of housing transactions increased from 20,680 in 2012 to 44,449 in 2018. This doesn't appear to indicate any major supply problem. https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rppi/residentialpropertypriceindexdecember2018/
If the issue is a shortage of suitable accommodation then she should be the one to move out. Im not suggesting forcing her out, but an incentive for her to move could be for the state to forgo property tax on her down-sized accommodation?
If you want 'suitable' (whatever that is) accommodation then save up and buy it. Again, according to the CSO, property prices today are 80.7% of their 2007 peak.https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-rppi/residentialpropertypriceindexdecember2018/. So you can now buy an asset that should appreciate in value and will provide you with shelter for a fifth less that it did eleven years ago. That's not a bad deal by any standard. Also, according to the IT, the ratio of average house prices to average income is 6. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/average-house-price-is-now-six-times-the-average-income-1.3035168. That's its historic average. But if you throw in the earnings of the spouse, it's cheaper. So, there is no reason to believe that house prices are currently either absolutely or relatively expensive.
We are competing with others in similar situations. .
That's life. You are always in competition with others.
If we find suitable accommodation we move out, but blocking another family from finding a suitable home and leaving my mother in law with a three bed house to herself.
So what? Neither your mother in law nor yourself has any responsibility to random house purchasers. They can always buy a different house.
. A three bed is suitable for us, not for her.
Apart from the fact that luckily for you your mother in law had a three bedroom house and was generous enough to offer you accommodation, in a free society at least,
neither you or anybody else can make that decision. We have to assume that your mother-in-law like everybody else is making a rational housing choice that gives her the optimal level of utility.
 
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