Latest News » Official Launch of Ballygall Road East Development
A new approach to providing social housing for older people – combining private finance and local authority support – was unveiled on 26th February 2014 by Fold Ireland at a sod-turning ceremony for a housing project in Glasnevin, Dublin.
At the ceremony, Fold outlined how the organisation was able to access private finance from Bank of Ireland after Dublin City Council transferred ownership of the Glasnevin housing project to Fold.
The project, which provided homes for 76 older people, had been built by Dublin City Council in 1969, and managed by the Council since then. Now, with the private finance from Bank of Ireland, Fold is undertaking a complete regeneration of the project, which will see it transformed to provide 39 state-of-the-art housing units for elderly couples and individuals.
Speaking in Glasnevin today, Fold’s Development Manager Tina Donaghy, said: “The economic downturn has made it extremely difficult for local authorities to meet the demand that exists for social housing. Currently there are a total of 242 applicants on the Older Persons Waiting List seeking accommodation in Area E which includes Cabra, Finglas, Glasnevin, Santry.
“As a result, housing associations such as Fold are working with local councils and the Department of the Environment to develop innovative solutions to meet social housing needs. One such solution is for local authorities to transfer ownership of housing projects to associations that can then leverage the projects’ existing value to access private funds. This is the approach we have taken to regenerating this facility in Glasnevin.
“This project represents a shift in how social housing will be funded in Ireland in the future and we are grateful that Dublin City Council had the confidence in us to transfer the site to Fold Ireland, which allowed us to subsequently secure private finance from Bank of Ireland. We feel this represents a way forward for the voluntary housing sector and this approach could be replicated with other local authorities throughout the country.”
The new project in Glasnevin is located at Ballygall Road East. It will provide 38 one bed and one two bed modern and fully accessible apartments with an adjoining community centre. It is expected that the first two blocks with eight units in each will be available in June 2014. The remaining blocks will be complete by December 2014.
Patricia O’Brien (81) is one of ten residents living in the last remaining block on the site and expects to move into her new apartment in June 2014.
Speaking at the launch, Mrs. O’Brien, said, “I’ve never gotten used to living in a bedsit with my bed in the sitting room despite having lived here for 14 years. The new apartment will mean the world to me. I can’t wait to have a bedroom and home again. I’ve already put my deposit down on a proper double bed for the new apartment.
“Ballygall Road always had a strong community network and in a few months we’ll have great new apartments as well as a new community centre. All the residents are just like a happy family and I’m looking forward to having lots of people around again when the renovations are complete.”
Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister of State for Housing, was present at the launch of the Fold Ireland project in Glasnevin. Labour Councillor for the Cabra/Glasnevin ward on Dublin City Council, Áine Clancy was also in attendance, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin.