Mr. Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, has invited a further round of housing proposals from Approved Housing Bodies to provide independent living accommodation for people with special housing needs. Funding for this purpose is available under the Capital Assistance Scheme and there are already over 130 approved construction projects in the pipeline that are providing over 1,220 social homes for some of the most vulnerable in our society including the elderly, homeless and people with disabilities.
The completion of projects under the Capital Assistance Scheme is ramping up and has recently seen newly built housing provided by Cluid at Broome Lodge in Dublin 7, by Peter McVerry Trust at St. Agatha’s Court, Dublin 1, by Respond at Carrickmacross and by the Irish Wheelchair Association at Belmullet, Co Mayo.
“The invitation for new projects under the Capital Assistance Scheme, to add to what is already in the pipeline, will help to maximise the contribution that Approved Housing Bodies can make to meeting housing needs. We want a pipeline of delivery across all areas of social housing and, in relation to sheltered housing for the most vulnerable in our society, the Approved Housing Bodies have great capacity for delivering high quality supports”, said Minister Murphy.
Local Authorities will now issue a ‘Call for Proposals’ to invite further construction and acquisition proposals from Approved Housing Bodies to meet this important need. This new ‘Call for Proposals’ under the Capital Assistance Scheme is being made in the context of Rebuilding Ireland, the Government’s Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. €66 million has been set aside to facilitate the delivery of accommodation this year under the Scheme – expenditure under the scheme in 2016 was €37 million.
The Minister said “The Capital Assistance Scheme projects that are now coming on stream illustrate the very high quality housing that is being provided. We want to add to the pipeline of projects already in place so that we have delivery assured for the next few years. Indeed, I am particularly keen the over 1,000 new sheltered homes already under preparation by Approved Housing Bodies get on site as soon as possible. The funding is in place and each of these projects when completed, will bring about life-changing benefits to the tenants who will live in them”.
The Minister strongly acknowledged the contribution to date of the Approved Housing Bodies in the provision and management of social housing; their role in this regard has been specifically recognised in Rebuilding Ireland. Working with local authorities, their delivery role under the Capital Assistance Scheme meets an important range of Government priorities in the areas of housing and in improving the quality of life for a range of people with particular needs.