Damien English, T.D. Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal launched a new scheme at St. Agatha’s Court, Dublin 1 today (13 June 2017). The development is a partnership between Peter McVerry Trust, DRHE/Dublin City Council and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. The value of the project, funded through the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s Capital Assistance Scheme and Peter McVerry Trust is €1.4 million and it will deliver ten 1 bedroom apartments and one 2 bedroom townhouse for persons exiting homelessness and those on the social housing waiting list.
The project is the latest in a long line of empty building regeneration projects delivered by Peter McVerry Trust, and the Trust has reached 50 residential units now delivered by re-using empty buildings in Dublin since mid-2014. The units are for single persons on the housing list in DCC, with the exception of a single the two bed townhouse unit. A number of these units are ring-fenced for persons exiting homelessness services and there will be a mix of age, gender and backgrounds and at least one unit will be a Housing First participant and will provide a new home for a person, who was previously rough sleeping.
The social housing element of Rebuilding Ireland, Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness provides a significantly increased level of ambition, aiming for the delivery of 47,000 social housing homes, through build, refurbishment, acquisitions and leasing, from 2016 to 2021, supported by Exchequer investment of some €5.35 billion. This year some €1.3billion will be spent on social housing programmes Speaking at the launch, Minister English said: “I would like to acknowledge the Peter McVerry Team for their tireless commitment to tackling homelessness and for their support in rolling out the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, including bringing this project to fruition. I would also like to thank the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Dublin City Council and officials at my Department for working together to advance this beautiful scheme”.
Minister English added:
“Although there are no simple solutions, the Government and I remain determined to address the major challenge that homelessness presents. Last year, 3.052 households exited homelessness (the highest level ever), an increase on the 2,300 exits achieved in 2015. We are pushing to beat that record again this year. The units being launched today are a small but significant example of how Rebuilding Ireland can and will provide homes for very vulnerable people”.