The Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy today officially opened Focus Ireland’s new 31 unit development at John’s Lane West which is providing homes for families and individuals in the heart of Dublin city.
The new development was built with the 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.
Speaking at the event Minister Murphy said:
“I am pleased to be here today to officially open these 31 homes on behalf of Focus Ireland. Under Rebuilding Ireland we are partnering with our many stakeholders to provide homes for people who are homeless and my department is always eager to fund such projects. Increasing the supply of housing is at the core of addressing our housing problems. This year we will add 10,000 new homes to our active social housing stock and we will also meet the housing needs of some 27,000 families/individuals on local authority waiting lists. I would like to wish all the new tenants many happy years in their new homes.”
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:
“This increased housing delivery by Focus Ireland is a core part of our strategy and is playing a key part in our work challenging homelessness and changing lives. These homes here today are permanent homes which is so important with support where required by some households. The individuals and families moving in now have a safe and secure place to call home.”
“This site at John’s Lane West was last used to provide emergency hostel beds to get people in off the streets in the Winter of 2014 but it was always the plan it would deliver homes. There was some criticism when we closed the emergency beds to allow development work to begin but it was the right decision. 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. This development will provide 31 permanent homes for people right in the heart of the city.”
Focus Ireland highlighted that people living in the new development will be supported to live independently something which is sometimes only a dream for people who were previously homeless.
Pat Dennigan said:
“This apartment building was designed to ensure that each home has its own front door. 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 new 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.”
Mr. Dennigan added:
“Focus Ireland may have differences of opinion with the Government in terms of specific policies required to end this crisis. However, we always make sure to stress that – while there is a crisis in homelessness – so much good work is also being done every single day to help so many people. This outstanding development at John’s Lane West is the firm proof of this. It is a good news story for all today.”
“Indeed, Focus Ireland is also committed to working with Minister Murphy and his department and also with local authorities like Dublin City Council to tackle and prevent homelessness. We believe that there needs to be a significant shift away from managing the issue of homelessness towards ending the crisis. We are playing our part in achieving this by delivering homes like this today with the help of our supporters.”
Focus Ireland is working hard to play our part to end the housing and homelessness crisis and the charity said it will continue its commitment to building and acquiring housing. Mr. Dennigan said: “This will be done in partnership with the State and our supporters not just here in Dublin but around the country in areas such as Cork, Limerick, Wexford and Waterford to name a few of the counties in which we provide homes and services.”
Focus Ireland said this work is ongoing and the charity now provides 1,200 homes around the country. Focus Ireland has delivered 507 of these since 2015 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.
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