A Focus Ireland development in the heart of Dublin that provides 31 homes for people who were previously homeless has won two national housing awards. The innovative development was awarded both the Homeless Category Award, and the Overall Winner Award, at the Irish Council of Social Housing’s Community Housing Awards 2019.
Focus Ireland’s Award Winning Development at John’s Lane West in Dublin 8
The development at John’s Lane West was officially launched by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in May earlier this year. The Dublin 8 site was previously used to provide emergency hostel beds to get people in off the streets in the winter of 2014, however, Focus Ireland had always planned for the site to be developed to deliver permanent homes for families and individuals in the heart of Dublin city. The development was built with great support from the Department of Housing, Dublin City Council as well as financial support from the Housing Finance Agency and also with some assistance by generous donors to Focus Ireland.
Sr. Stan at the launch of Focus Ireland’s Johns Lane West Development, Dublin 8 in May 2019
Speaking about the awards win Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:
“It’s an honour for us to win both the Homeless Category Award, and the Overall Winner Award, at this year’s ICSH Community Housing Awards. At Focus Ireland, we are working hard to play our part to end the housing and homelessness crisis and we are committed to building and acquiring housing that will help provide safe and secure homes for families and individuals moving out of emergency accommodation. This site is a clear manifestation of our long term vision & strategy. This strategy is built around prevention and providing people with a sustained exit from homeless.”
Mr. Dennigan added:
“I wish to thank all the Focus Ireland staff for their continued hard work and dedication to changing the lives of people experiencing homelessness and it is wonderful that our efforts have been recognised, and that our vision for John’s Lane West, has been independently evaluated and awarded. The most important thing to us is that this fine development has ended homelessness for 31 households who now have a place to call home.”
Focus Ireland added that the apartment building was specifically designed to ensure that each home has its own front door. Mr. Dennigan said:
“This is not only a great design it also means so much to people who have been homeless or moving from place to place for many years at risk of becoming homeless. I know from speaking to some of our tenants how much it means not only to have their own home but to also have their own front door. It is something none of us can quite put our finger on but at the same time we all know its great importance at a very human and emotional level.”
One woman who was previously homeless and now lives in John’s Lane West spoke about what it means to now have a safe and secure home as she said:
“It feels great, because I don’t have to ever worry about a landlord giving me notice to get out. It is a huge relief not having to worry about losing my home again. It’s just such a relief to have a home.” 
The Irish Council of Social Housing’s Community Housing Awards, sponsored by Allianz Ireland, is a biennial competition that celebrates excellence within the social housing sector, and highlights exceptional housing quality, innovation and partnership. The ICSH/Allianz Community Housing Awards is now in its tenth presentation and seeks to highlight the best in housing for older people, homeless projects, housing for people with disabilities, housing for families, regeneration, collaboration initiatives, community integration and housing management.
The 2019 winners were judged on a number of elements, including how the design creates a sense of community, how the type of accommodation meets the needs of the tenants and how the project reduces fuel poverty concerns for tenants and affordability of daily living costs.
Focus Ireland now provides nearly 1,200 homes around the country. Focus Ireland has delivered 495 of these through Focus Housing Association in the last 3 years and is on track to deliver 750 homes over the course of its current 5-year plan to 2020. That’s a doubling of long term homes provided over this 5-year period.
Media Contact: Roughan Mac Namara: 086 85 15 117 or Emma Byrne 086 418 3759
 The Irish Times. (2019). ‘Radical’ steps taken against housing crisis, says Eoghan Murphy. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/radical-steps-taken-against-housing-crisis-says-eoghan-murphy-1.3888055?fbclid=IwAR0hp9wZBqJFKSQrTZCE-tvDlqE7RGaglyX3rWoLUOlqAqrwuji73YLi4eQ
 The Irish Times. (2019). ‘Radical’ steps taken against housing crisis, says Eoghan Murphy. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/radical-steps-taken-against-housing-crisis-says-eoghan-murphy-1.3888055?fbclid=IwAR0hp9wZBqJFKSQrTZCE-tvDlqE7RGaglyX3rWoLUOlqAqrwuji73YLi4eQ〈 Back to Press Releases