The Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Damien English, announced today (4 May 2018) approval in principle of €15million funding for a ‘Housing with Support’ scheme for older people in Inchicore in Dublin. Speaking at the launch in the Mansion House of the report and evaluation of phase 1 of the project, Minister English said:
“Part of the St. Michael’s Estate site in Inchicore has been identified as a “Housing with Support” pilot model under Rebuilding Ireland and will deliver 52 homes, due for completion in 2020. The ‘Housing with Support’ model is intended to set a new standard for the future of housing provision for older people and to act as an exemplar for others to follow. The project has been approved for funding of €14,934,528 under my Department’s Capital Assistance Scheme with a contribution of €450,000 from the HSE/Department of Health towards additional communal facilities for the residents. These homes are being future proofed even before they are built, with extra space in all the homes to allow for care staff and/or family overstays, whichever is the more appropriate as time goes by. I wish Circle Voluntary Housing Association and ALONE every success in delivering on this important project.”
Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Mícheál MacDonncha added:
“I welcome this announcement by the Minister that €15 million funding has been approved and that St. Michael’s Estate in Inchicore has been identified as the pilot project to deliver 52 homes under a ‘Housing with Support’ model proposed by the Dublin City Age Friendly Housing Working Group. The challenge remains to create socially engaged communities by designing a place where home is about the needs of the older person and this project will set the standard for housing for older people in Ireland. I welcome this first phase and look forward to the development of the entire St. Michael’s Estate with Dublin City Council as the lead developer of social and affordable housing.”
The ‘Housing with Support’ project is a result of work carried out by the Dublin City Age Friendly Housing Working Group (HWG) which was established following a Housing Summit held in October 2015. The core aims are:
- To design an integrated housing scheme for older people that allows them to remain in their own homes as long as possible and,
- To develop a prototype with the potential for national rollout.
· The ‘Housing with Support’ model brings together a range of services and supports - principally relating to housing, community, social and care - that have historically been provided in “silos”. It seeks to provide an appropriate physical and supportive environment that enables older residents to live full lives in their own homes within their own community, thereby both promoting independence and reducing or deferring the need to move into long term residential care. The overall aim of this project is to develop a new model of housing for older people where the key components; physical environment and care supports are provided onsite, integrated into the community and are designed with older people at the centre.
The ‘Housing with Support’ model is structured around three pillars. These are:
- The creation of a ‘village’ feel and sense of place through the provision of communal facilities that promote and encourage social interaction and engagement;
- The availability of a range of services, supports and amenities, designed to facilitate independence and autonomy;
- An integrated approach to building mixed tenure and vibrant, mixed communities.
A steering group for the project has been set up by Dublin City Council and the HSE and includes membership from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as well as the Department of Health, Age Friendly Ireland and the Irish Council for Social Housing. The Independent Chair of the Steering Group, Maurice O’Connell, expressing his confidence in the success of the project, said at the launch:
“I believe this project will act as a model that other housing providers can replicate. I look forward to seeing the results of this unique and positive development, which I believe will set a new standard for the future of housing provision for older persons in Ireland”.
Later today Minister English will also announce details of an 11% increase in funding for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability. All local authorities will receive extra money for these grants in 2018, with details to follow this afternoon.