The Peter McVerry Trust has welcomed the announcement by Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government Alan Kelly and Minister for State for Housing, Planning & Construction, Paudie Coffey on 23 July, of funding totaling €151 million worth of social housing units for approved housing bodies across the country. The investment will see the delivery of 1,057 new social housing units nationwide.
Under the funding Peter McVerry Trust has secured approval to provide 44 new units across four local authorities. Commenting on the publication of the list of approved projects, Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said the charity was delighted with the announcement, and to secure new units through the scheme. He outlined how the acquisition of the units underlines the commitment of Peter McVerry Trust to responding in a housing led manner to the current homeless crisis, and explained how the organisation is working closely with local authorities to respond to the needs of homeless households not just in Dublin but also in the commuter counties and in the mid-west region. “These new units will be vital in helping to provide badly needed housing for people currently dependant on homeless accommodation. We have secured 23 units in Dublin City, 2 units in South Dublin, and for the first time State funding to acquire properties in Kildare and Limerick”, he said.
The announcement comes two days after the Peter McVerry Trust opened 6 new social housing units to provide accomodation for young people affected by homelessness. The units, which are located at apartments on Pim Street in Dublin 8, will be occupied by formerly homeless people as part of the ongoing work of the Peter McVerry Trust in the area. The former local authority voids were extensively renovated with joint partnership funding from Saint-Gobain Ireland as well as the charity’s own resources. The project is the first in Ireland or Britain to be funded through the Paris-based foundation that assists in providing employment for disadvantaged youths and improving the quality of social housing.
The Peter McVerry Trust is continuing to work closely with Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive to identify projects that can be turned around quickly in order to deliver further social housing units. Last year the organisation worked with 4,460 people, and they expect the 2015 figures to be even higher. Peter McVerry SJ has has been consistently calling for the government to make more funding available to help alleviate the homelessness problem in the city. He has described the present crisis as the worst he has ever seen, and has highlighted how families are being acutely affected. “According to the most recent figures from the Department of the Environment there are 565 homeless families living in emergency accommodation, in B&B or hotel bedrooms”, he said.