11 new apartments for older people at risk of homelessness were opened in Dublin 8 last week, as news comes that no social housing was built by Dublin City Council in the first quarter of 2018.
ALONE, a charity working to support older people ageing at home, celebrated the refurbishment and tenanting of the 11 new units in Earls Court at a launch attended by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Cllr Sonya Stapleton (Ind).
ALONE acquired the units to house older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as part of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan.
The purchase was made possible with funding from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through Dublin City Council (DCC).
The homes have been renovated to an ‘age-friendly standard’, with more than 150 volunteers taking part to paint and clean the homes in preparation for their new residents.
Cllr Stapleton said: “Since the purchase of these units in April, ALONE has worked tirelessly to provide suitable, age-friendly and comfortable homes for older people in need of permanent accommodation.
“Their journey over the past few months has shown how meaningful impact can be made by such projects and offers encouragement to similar organisations as we work collaboratively to solve the housing crisis.”
Sean Moynihan, ALONE’s chief executive, said: “Earls Court marks ALONE’s largest acquisition of property and we are delighted to be providing new tenants with the keys to their homes.
“We’re focused on removing the instability many have experienced and hope to more than double our housing units over the next five years, to continue supporting the growing number of older people in need.
“As outlined in ALONE’s housing report launched last week, a range of housing options for older people is urgently needed and these units are a step towards this goal.”
The launch of the new apartments comes as it was revealed that Dublin City Council have built no social housing units in the first quarter of this year.
The council is among 18 councils across Ireland that did not build any new social housing between January and March.
This was despite a goal set by the Minister Murphy to have 5,000 new units built nationwide by the end of this year. So far, only 523 units have been built across the country.
A Dublin City Council spokesperson told Dublin Gazette that it has plans to build almost 200 new units before the end of 2018.
They said: “Dublin City Council’s current Housing Supply Programme outlines delivery under the various funding mechanisms for the period 2017-2021.
“While there were no construction projects due for completion by the council in Q1, a total of 196 social housing units are expected to be completed by December.
“This is in addition to construction by approved housing bodies on council lands. It is also separate to our Acquisition Programme, Part V, and the restoration of void properties.”