Calls For Provisions To Be Made So Pensioners Can Rent Rooms Without Losing Medical Cards

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There are calls for provisions to be made to prevent pensioners from losing their medical card if they rent a room to students for the upcoming academic year.

Many fear they will pass the income threshold to be eligible for the card if they receive rental income.

According to Sarah-Jayne Tobin:

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With the current student housing crisis, Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne believes pensioners, who often have spare rooms in their homes, could make up part of the solution.

However, she says many are being put off the idea when faced with the realisation their medical card could be revoked if they earn more than the medical card income threshold by renting to students.

As things stand, a single person aged 70 and over is currently able to earn 550 euro per week and be eligble for a card, while a couple can earn 1,050.

She has called on the Minister for Further Education Simon Harris to take a more flexible approach to the rent-a-room scheme for pensioners.

The Union of Students in Ireland has said many people who are due to start college in September still struggling to source a place to stay.

Previously, Minister Harris described the situation as “a very challenging environment”, saying there is “absolutely no doubt that there is a real housing supply issue”.