ALONE & Threshold: Request for Tender

Request for Tender

Research of the housing pathways and the experiences of older people in the private rented sector


Threshold is a national housing charity, founded in 1978, with regional advice centres in Dublin, Cork, and Galway. Threshold provides frontline advice, advocacy, and support services to those facing housing problems in Ireland and operates the national Tenancy Protection Service. Threshold promotes policy and legal change in housing provision through research and evidence-basedsolutions.

Threshold also conducts surveys, analysis and research into the experience of private renters. Based on these, and on the information from our client database, we devise policy solutions and make proposals to Government on how to make the private rented sector a fairer, more affordable, better quality and more secure place in which to live and to call home.

ALONE is a national organisation that strives to enable older people to age at home, safely and securely, for as long as they wish. We work with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty, or are facing other difficulties. We provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support, and assistive technology. We use support plans, provide a point of contact for access to health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

We have an engaged fleet of nearly 3,000 volunteers who are matched to older people through our Support and Telephone Befriending initiative. Our volunteers offer their time by linking in with their older person through visits, conducting practical supports and being a companion.

Renting has traditionally been considered a transitional tenure in Ireland, mostly on the way to home ownership. Since the global financial crisis, home ownership has declined in Ireland, and given low levels of social housing provision through traditional routes, more people are in the private rented sector for longer and increasingly into older age.


The aim of the research is to assess the ability of the private rented sector to operate as a reliable tenure alternative to home ownership or traditional social housing solutions for older people from 55 years upwards and to make recommendations for policy and legislative change, propose housing solutions, mitigating measures for the private rented sector and alternative housing pathways.

Invitation for Research Tenders:

We invite Tenders to complete research to achieve the aim, as set out above which. Tenders will be evaluated and the project overseen by a research advisory group composed of representatives of both Threshold and ALONE.

The Research:

The project will include:

  1. A review of Irish literature, grey literature and literature from other jurisdictions where the PRS is a viable tenure choice as well as comparable jurisdictionson the private rented sector. The review will include a focus on the needs and aspirations of older and ageing people, the impact of housing tenure on health and well-being, population size, demographics and future projections.
  2. Primary research to include, up to 50, semi-structured qualitative interviews across a mix of individuals and focus groups of older renters, the composition to be agreed with the advisory group; semi structured interviews with a minimum of10specialist organisations in the statutory and voluntary sectors working with and supporting older people who are renting; and a quantitative survey of older renters.
  3. Secondary Research to include analysis of data from the respective Threshold and ALONE services database, other datasets as relevant.
  4. Investigation of the data to gain an understanding of the experiences of older renters in Ireland, in terms of: -how, when and why they entered the sector-the needs, vulnerabilities and agency of older renters in the sector -the housing aspirations, preferences and assets of this group of renters -experiences of homelessness and/or housing insecurity
  5. Determining the current population size, demographics, socio-economic profile, eligibility of social housing, projections for 10, 20 and 30 years’ time and what this means for Irish housing and social welfare system
  6. The profile of respondents should be drawn out across three age categories –55 years to 64 years, 65 years to 74 years and 75 years plus.
  7. Determining the housing pathways of older tenants’ and assess how they arrived in, remained in or returned to the sector–the deciding factors for renting to include considerations such as cost, location, supports, transport links etc.
  8. Measuring the impact of renting on older tenants’ well-being in terms of:
    -satisfaction with their accommodation to include location, rent, relationship with the accommodation provider
    -housing type, tenure and location-physical and mental health and physical mobility
    -income and pensions, savings, debt and assets, and ability to pay rent
    -ability to follow COVID-19 health advice in shared housing and/or license arrangements
    -relationships, family and social connectedness
    -feelings of physical security-access to, and use of, other services including social care-ability to modify / adapt their rented homes according to their needs
    -eligibility for home care schemes
    -energy efficiency, standards and repairs issues in their home
    -ability to move within the private rented sector to source appropriate accommodation-risk of tenancy termination / homelessness
    -the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the above for ageing and older renters living in the PRS
  9. Assessing the impact of the asset-based welfare system on older renters without recourse to such assets, including pensions, access to home or institutional care, household budgeting,
  10. Outlining the aspirations, agency and perceived options of older renters and the factors determining these, with regard to:
    -tenure security and housing options
    -access to care and supports
    -economic security
    -health and social life
  11. A description and explanation of methodologies used in the project
  12. The development of findings arising from the analysis of the research
  13. The production of policy recommendations for the private rented sector, propose housing solutions, mitigating measures for the private rented sector and alternative housing pathways based on these findings and agreed with both organisations
  14. Recommendations for best practice in respect of delivery of housing for older people in the private rented sector
  15. Regular updates to, and communication on progress with the research advisory group
  16. A draft report for review by the research advisory group
  17. A final report for publication by ALONE and Threshold

Tender Submission:

The submission should include a summary of the applicant’s previous experience and qualifications, a table of contents of the tender document, a proposed methodology, any relevant appendices, a timeline for all work activities and completion, the duration of days to carry out the work, details of costs, examples of previous relevant work and contact details of two referees.

Tender assessment will be based on the following:

  • Applicant’s ability to demonstrate a clear understanding of the tender request
  • Applicant’s understanding of Threshold, ALONE, of the needs of older people, the private rented sector as a housing tenure and the social housing system in Ireland including the various types of social housing and social housing solutions.
  • Ability to address areas from physical and mental health assessment to risk of termination and eligibility for home care
  • Experience of having previously conducted similar projects conducting primary research and analysis on similar social / housing issues
  • Proven track record of report writing, including specific findings and meaningful, realistic recommendations for policy
  • A proposed structure for the envisaged report
  • Clear and realistic timelines and project plan
  • The project’s value for money and price competitiveness
  • The successful applicant will ensure that the work facilitates consistency, clarity, and equality and reflects the culture and values of Threshold and the ALONE. Timeline

The deadline for receipt of applications is 23rd June 2021

Any candidate under consideration will be asked to present on their Tender. The desired target date for project delivery is the 30th of November 2021.


The budget for this project will not exceed €40,000, inclusive of VAT.

A full breakdown of costs associated with the different elements of the project should be provided together with the proposal, including VAT where relevant.

The fee will be inclusive of all costs (for example, administrative costs, VAT, and travel) but not publication of the final report.

Price increases during the term of the contract will not be accepted.
Please include two references from similar recently completed projects.

Tender submissions should be emailed to Andrew Rooney, Policy Officer, at


All parties agree to hold confidential all information, documentation and other materials received, provided, or obtained arising from their participation in this process.

All the information requested from you and collected by Threshold and ALONE during this Tender application process is necessary and relevant to the performance of the process. We will treat all information you supply with the utmost confidentiality and in line with current data protection law. The successful candidate will be required to sign a data protection/GDPR document before commencement of the project.

If you have any questions about the use of your data during the Tender process or wish to know how your data will be treated if you engage in this process with Threshold and ALONE, please contact our Data Protection Officer at (data protection queries only).

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
3rd Jun, 2021
Expiry Date
23rd Jun, 2021