Downsizing as a govt policy

CM1000

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I'm a final year student of Social Policy researching for my dissertation on the potential impacts and opportunities for older people of a downsizing or equity withdrawal policy direction by the State.

Ageing in place is the preferred policy direction from a health management perspective, however this is only appropriate if it is the 'right' place. With the increasing housing crisis, under-utilisation and under-occupancy are considerations. I have read the ESRI 2016 report 'Housing and Ireland's Older Population' and note with interest the findings of little evidence of mobility of older people and the associated reasons for this. I believe there has been a negative slant to the concept of downsizing perhaps as a result of the continuing hangover from colonialism and our preference for owner-occupation.

I found an Irish Independent article online from 2018 (https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/how-more-than-10000-social-houses-are-under-occupied-as-crisis-deepens-37456381.html) which refers to figures given to Brendan Burgess so perhaps Brendan, you might have some comments.

Has anyone conducted any research in this area that could inform my work? Or can you direct me to any sources of information that I might find useful in researching this issue further? There appears to have been little focus on this issue in either the Irish or European context so I am greatly hoping you may have some suggestions.
 

Protocol

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The majority of people aged over 65 don't have any desire to downsize.

For various reasons.

So I don't think it will be a common event.
 

bleary

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Irish people have very different approaches than other nationalities.

Many reasons for this. Compared to tax paid on property for example in us where it is common to work in one state and retire to another.

Fair deal scheme in Ireland for example means it would be financially disadvantaging to down size .

Dept housing did some work on this last year . https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/older-people-quizzed-on-downsizing-to-gauge-interest-in-financial-and-property-incentives-929746.html
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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I the continuing hangover from colonialism
Please don't introduce any BS post-colonial theory to this. There is almost no one alive who can remember Ireland not being an independent country.

One issue is of course the high tax exemptions for inheritance to children. This encourages people to stay in larger houses and not downsize. I've never seen a comparison with other EU jurisdictions but my impression is that the tax-free threshold in Ireland is very high.

Property tax is relatively low as well at 0.18% of the value of the house. In some parts of the US you can pay 2% of the property value annually. People tend to re-assess their needs when they are being heavily taxed.
 
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AlbacoreA

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... I believe there has been a negative slant to the concept of downsizing perhaps as a result of the continuing hangover from colonialism and our preference for owner-occupation.
....
I'd like to know what specific research you've done to get to that conclusion. What data you've collected and analysed. Because it's like you've never even talked to an older person. Or looked at what facilities are needed and do they exist. Have you looked at nursing homes, have you looked at the costs, have you even looked to see properties and communities exist that are suitable for downsizing to. Considering the lack of housing supply for the last decade.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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Apartments are of course suited for older people as they present less upkeep and are more accessible. Ireland has a very low share of apartments compared to other western countries though.

A friend of mine has parents who in their mid-60s sold up a four-bed house and moved to a three-bedroom apartment that might be as big as 110 sqm. This kind of property is very hard to find though, most apartments being one- or two-bedroom.
 

Gordon Gekko

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I think it’s simpler than that. My wife and I have spent a lot of time and effort getting our home the way we want it. We both love our garden. The whole place “works”. We don’t ever see ourselves wanting to downsize. That’s got nothing to do with colonialism; it’s just life and people.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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It also says a lot about the community spirit in Ireland. I know loads of retired people who are close to their neighbours and don't want to move away from them.
They wouldn't have to if there was a good mix of housing types in every community.

Traditional urban development in Ireland is of course monoculture semi-Ds.
 

odyssey06

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I'd like to know what specific research you've done to get to that conclusion. What data you've collected and analysed. Because it's like you've never even talked to an older person. Or looked at what facilities are needed and do they exist. Have you looked at nursing homes, have you looked at the costs, have you even looked to see properties and communities exist that are suitable for downsizing to. Considering the lack of housing supply for the last decade.
+1
And just to mention, in the current climate, self-isolating in an apartment complex presents challenges... no garden. Accepting deliveries. Access to bins and post.
 

Gordon Gekko

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They wouldn't have to if there was a good mix of housing types in every community.

Traditional urban development in Ireland is of course monoculture semi-Ds.
I don’t think that’s realistic. A utopia where there’s a nice 2/3 bed penthouse for people with houses to downsize into? Can people not just stay in their homes if they want to? Moving house is a complete pain in the proverbial at the best of times; imagine what it’s like when you’re an OAP.
 

AlbacoreA

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Apartments are of course suited for older people as they present less upkeep and are more accessible. Ireland has a very low share of apartments compared to other western countries though.

A friend of mine has parents who in their mid-60s sold up a four-bed house and moved to a three-bedroom apartment that might be as big as 110 sqm. This kind of property is very hard to find though, most apartments being one- or two-bedroom.
Well it suited them, I know a couple who tried it, didn't like it and moved back to their previous home.

There are a lot of disadvantages to apartments. I would be dubious about any study or research that fails to mention any thing other than space efficiency.

Kinda reveals your agenda.

It's like the Airbnb hysteria no one mentions that the numbers involved are a drop in the option compared to whats required.
 

PMU

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Ageing in place is the preferred policy direction from a health management perspective.
Says who? Is there any evidence to back up this conclusion? Or is this just something you read on the Internet?

however this is only appropriate if it is the 'right' place.
This is just social fascism. The state has no business deciding on the 'rightness' or otherwise of where ageing should occur. To do so is incompatible with the aims of a free society.

There appears to have been little focus on this issue in either the Irish or European context so I am greatly hoping you may have some suggestions.
Maybe because this type of social management is not the sort of thing with which Europeans (with the possible exception of Sweden?) feel comfortable, considering our history.
 
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Vanessa

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We need a bit more imagination and initiative if we want to encourage older people to downsize. Retirement villages with services such as physiothetapy, chiropody, coffee shops/canteen, social outlets with a liquor license etc.
While apartment living might seem attractive its not if you have a complex where there is a younger age profile, constant change of tenants, minimal garden area etc. Certainly I feel that there will a big reluctance by older people to go into nursing homes after Covid 19 so other options for care will be necessary if we want them to downsize
 

AlbacoreA

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This crisis will have highlighted the lack of resources and how much older rely on family being close, if they have that.
 

PMU

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We need a bit more imagination and initiative if we want to encourage older people to downsize.
You'll also need a lot of money.
I suggest people reside in a property for a long duration either because (a) they made a bad investment decision and are stuck in an area within which they would rather not live but have difficulty selling their property; or (b) they are happy where they live. If you offer 'incentives' to the first category you are just bailing out those who made a poor investment decisions and why would you want to do that?

If the second category, I suggest that Adam Smith's 'paradox of value' applies, in thath the value of the property to the householder is much greater than the market price. For example, I can buy a fridge that suits my lifestyle for a couple of hundred euro, but if you were to pay me to give up refrigeration it would cost a hell of a lot more than the market price of the fridge I want, because of the extra costs I would take on for living without a suitable fridge (e.g. visiting shops perhaps daily as opposed to once a week; higher consumption of tinned goods rather than fresh / chilled produce, etc.). So the cost of living without a fridge is much more than the market value of the fridge.

It's the same for downsizing. Moving from a house in which you have happily lived for a long duration and moving from a neighbourhood you like imposes excess costs on you. If the owner had wanted to move, he/she would have done so already, so, all things being equal, why would they do it now? They might, of course, if you paid them enough. But, I suggest, it would be a lot. The 'incentives', therefore, would have to be way in excess of the market value of the house, with the taxpayer, therefore, unlikely to want to pay them. Apart from being bad policy, It's just bad value; there are better things on which to spend the proceeds of taxation.
 

CM1000

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Says who? Is there any evidence to back up this conclusion? Or is this just something you read on the Internet?

This isn't my conclusion it is the stated policy direction of the Irish health service. https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/positive-ageing/healthy-and-positive-ageing-for-all.pdf

This is just social fascism. The state has no business deciding on the 'rightness' or otherwise of where ageing should occur. To do so is incompatible with the aims of a free society.

By 'right' I simply mean appropriateness for the individual ie does it meet their needs, can it be adapted to meet changing needs, is support available if/when required, is there accessibility to desired/preferred services?

Maybe because this type of social management is not the sort of thing with which Europeans (with the possible exception of Sweden?) feel comfortable, considering our history.
I find your reply quite aggressive and fail to understand why. As I've pointed out I'm a student investigating an area of interest.
 
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