Galway city and county is to receive just over €3 million in funding for special housing needs projects as part of the Homeless Implementation Plan which will see a capital investment totalling more than €46 million for housing projects throughout the country.
The Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, yesterday announced that a total of 416 units of accommodation will be provided for people with special housing needs including the elderly, persons with an intellectual or physical disability, and homeless persons.
The Galway City Council will receive €1,164,000 which will go to the provision of domestic violence refuge/homeless accommodation at COPE Galway’s refuge located at the former Magdalene site on Forster Street. Donated by the Sisters of Mercy, the building requires extensive renovation and the construction of nine units.
A total of €1,863,000 is allocated to Galway County Council for the construction of 12 units at Dunlo, Ballinasloe, which will be used by Cluid Housing Association in conjunction with St Vincent De Paul to provide accommodation for the elderly.
Speaking yesterday about the Implementation Plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness, Minister O’Sullivan said: “The Government is fully committed to addressing the crisis of homelessness and I am pleased to announce a programme of works that will form part of the response to dealing with this growing problem. Approved housing bodies play a key role in the delivery of housing and related supports for homeless persons and other vulnerable groups such as older people and people with disabilities.”
The Minister concluded: “I am particularly pleased to be able to provide €46 million in capital funding at this time to meet this need and provide over 416 households with quality accommodation that is safe, secure, and appropriate to their requirements. Approved housing bodies, in partnership with the local authorities, will now progress these projects.
Welcoming the Homeless Implementation Plan, Clúid’s head of policy, Simon Brooke, said: “Homelessness is a solvable problem. Levels of homelessness in Ireland are not large compared with other countries. The Homelessness Implementation Plan is ambitious, but it is achievable if everyone is really prepared to work together.
“First priority must be given to acquiring properties that can be quickly converted for use by families who would otherwise be staying in hotels, and for single people who are unable to find hostel accommodation. This may include empty hotels; state buildings that can be easily converted into self-contained accommodation; housing that is lying empty while waiting for renovation. Clúid is very keen to play a part in this, and if the will is there, this could be done very quickly indeed.”