Minister Jim Daly visits Blackpool, Cork – January 2018

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On Tuesday 23rd January, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mr. Jim Daly TD visited the Saint Francis Garden’s complex in Blackpool, Cork. During the visit, Minister Daly talked to Declan Dunne, Respond CEO, service users in the Day Centre, Respond staff members and staff from the Cope Foundation who are anchor tenants in the complex. The visit was organised by Professor Cathal O’ Connell, Chairperson of the Research, Advocacy and Evaluation Sub-Committee and Respond Board member.

Declan Cathal and Minister Jim Daly

Declan Dunne Respond! CEO, Cathal O Connell, Respond! Board of Directors and Minister Jim Daly on the roof top garden at Blackpool.

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The Minister was highly impressed with the supports in place and facilities in Blackpool which enable and empower the tenants and Day Centre service users to live independently in their communities for as long as possible.

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Blackpool resized 3The Minister was also impressed with Respond’s ambitious plans for housing delivery in the next five year period. Mícheál O’ Haodáin and Dr. Eleanor Bantry White from University College Cork were also present and highlighted to the Minister the importance of learning institutions collaborating effectively with organisation’s like Respond.

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Ned Brennan, Chief Operations Officer  Liam Fewer National Production Manager and Helena Crotty Resident Support Worker show Minister Jim Daly plans of Respond! future Developments


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Posted: January 2018 – by Philip O’Reilly National Co-ordinator of Services for Older People.

Santa visits Oakley Wood, Tullow Carlow.

DSCN4849Families came together to celebrate Christmas in the community building. Families’ enjoyed arts and crafts and festive treats. Highlight of the event was the visit by the man himself Santa Clause who distributed a goody bag to each child and double checked they were on the ‘nice’ list.



We would like to thank all the volunteers who gave so cheerfully of their time particularly Pauline Maher Broderick who went the extra mile.


DSCN4843A fun filled afternoon was enjoyed by all.

Posted by: Jennifer Danaher Respond! Resident Support.


16 families including 69 children move into their new homes in Chanel in Dublin

Dolores O Brien and Channel with Minister and group of residents Dec 2017Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD officially opened the new Respond social housing development in Chanel Manor, Coolock, Dublin 5. Chanel Manor is now home to 16 families with 103 individuals including 69 children in their new homes for life. All 16 families were previously on the social housing waiting list for Dublin City Council.


paul tierneyMinister Murphy said:

“I am delighted to be here today to open these wonderful homes. Providing homes is a permanent solution to housing families and I want to commend Respond for their hard work in developing these homes. I‘m glad that my Department could assist financially. Next year we will spend close to €2billion on social housing programmes and many more families will be removed from social housing waiting lists and housed nationwide. I wish all of the residents a merry Christmas and many years of happiness in their new homes.”

Dolores O Brien and Channel Dec 2017Dolores O Brien and Channel with Minister Dec 2017Dolores O’Brien a resident of Chanel Manor said:

“I cannot tell you how thrilled I and my family are that we are now in our new home. The house is beautiful! We now have enough bedrooms for us all and I truly believe this is the lease of life we all needed. I and my five children had been in seriously overcrowded conditions for years before and this was affecting us all. Now the children are happy to have their friends come around and I feel this is our new hope – the hope that we can live now in the space that we need – and the hope, which I can see is already happening, that my children are happier and more confident about the rest of their lives.”

RESPOND MX-3Declan Dunne, CEO of Respond Housing said:

“Today is what Respond is all about – building homes and creating communities for those in severe housing need. The houses here are beautiful and of very high quality and only rightly so. Respond is committed to adding at least 2,500 more homes to its existing stock of 4,225 units in the course on the next few years

We know that the long-term answer to our housing and homelessness crisis lies in addressing the severe shortfall in social housing supply. Today is one small part of that overall answer. I would like to thank the Minister, the Department, Dublin City Council and Marlet construction for helping us provide the new homes today”.

Chanel Manor was built with loan finance from the Housing Finance Agency, a Capital Advance Lease Facility (CALF) and Payment and Availability Agreement from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Posted: 19th December 2017




Minister Daly launches Waterford Age Friendly Strategy at John’s College


Declan Dunne Respond! CEO, Deputy Mary Butler, Minister Jim Daly, Mayor Pat Nugent, Donal Connolly, Waterford Age Friendly Alliance

On Friday 5th December, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD officially launched the Waterford Age Friendly Alliance City and County Strategy 2017-2022 in John’s College. During the visit, Minister Daly viewed all of the information stands and talked to the residents of John’s College while touring the facilities on the campus.

20The Minister also had time to drop in to Dermot Power and was highly impressed with the views of Waterford City from the apartment. Eleanor Gaffney and the John’s College Choir added some festive cheer to the occasion with a magnificent performance and nobody went home disappointed.

12The Age Friendly Cities and Counties Programme is part of a worldwide, World Health Organisation inspired movement which embraces the challenges and opportunities that our ageing population presents by facilitating local authorities to take the lead on changing thinking about ageing, and how services are planned and delivered.


Minister Jim Daly, Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council


Donal Connolly, Waterford Age Friendly Alliance, Kevin Moynihan, Waterford City and County Council

The Waterford Age Friendly City Programme started a number of years ago with Waterford City and Council as the Lead Agency. Over the last number of years, a multi-agency Alliance was formed with a number of Older People representing their peers as well as representatives from the relevant Statutory, Community and Voluntary agencies across Waterford City and County.13


Dermot Power, Minister Jim Daly

During the visit, Minister Daly viewed all of the information stands and talked to the residents of John’s College while touring the impressive facilities on the campus.

During his speech Minister Daly stated:

“The development of this strategy demonstrates how different organisations and agencies can work together in partnership to deliver something great for their community.  Multi-agency planning with public and stakeholder consultation is the most effective way we can deliver services and indeed solutions for our communities.”

According to Michael Walsh, Chairperson Waterford Age Alliance and Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive:


Tim Noone, HSE; Philip O’Reilly, Mayor Pat Nugent, Minister Jim Daly, Deputy Mary Butler, Mags Drohan, St Brigid’s Family Community Centre


Minister Jim Daly, Philip O’Reilly

“With regard to the aging demographic in Waterford, both in urban and rural areas, it is seen as imperative for everyone to begin the planning process to future proof and age proof any and all developments and services provided to the public. It is with this in mind that the Waterford Age Friendly Alliance has worked to develop this five year strategy document which will be implemented with immediate effect”


John’s College Choir

The John’s College choir concluded proceedings and added some festive cheer to the air.

About the Age Friendly Ireland Programme

As in all other countries in the world, the population of Ireland is ageing. To plan for this, in 2013 the Department of Health published the National Positive Ageing Strategy. The Strategy sets out a vision for an age-friendly society through the achievement of four national goals (participation, health, security and research). It recognises that all sectors of society – government, businesses, voluntary groups, service providers, local authorities and the general public – have a part to play in creating an age-friendly society.

The Strategy allocates lead responsibility for its Priority Action Areas to various Government Departments and agencies.

Posted: December 2017

Minister Zappone officially opens the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD  officially opened the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght, Co. Dublin on 10th November 2017.

Video filmed at the Family Hub – Tallaght launch can be found here

The facility has capacity for 9 families where 7 families have their own apartments with 2 families sharing a kitchen in adjoining apartments. The Tallaght Family Hub has seen 9 families with 24 children move into homes of their own

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone, speaking at the launch of the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Overall figures show that 50 families have moved into homes of their own from 5 Family Hubs in Dublin.

The average stay in for families in the Respond! Family Hubs has been 7 months and 8 days – 9 months in Tallaght and 5.5 months in High Park.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD said:

“Respond! Family Hubs are caring new model of accommodation which includes a range of wrap-around services to help families be in a better position to move to secure housing in the short term. I am happy to see that every family here has a key worker and support plans which are developed with every resident based on their own individual need.

Ellie and Kayleigh Foster speaking at the launch

This supported temporary accommodation is designed to be as close to a home as possible and to ensure that every child and adult leaves in a better position than when they arrived”.

Respond! CEO Declan Dunne, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone and Respond! Board of Directors Chairman John O Connor.

CEO of Respond! Housing Declan Dunne said:

“I am glad to report that 23 families including 47 children have moved out of our Family Hubs and into homes of their own. The overall figure of 50 families in Hubs supported by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive is a credible outcome from a new model first launched only 7 months ago. Together we can aim to continually improve the Family Hub model to ensure that all families who currently find themselves homeless have the homes they truly want, need and deserve as soon as possible.

Family Hub Manager Hilary Francis with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone at the launch of the Respond! Family Hub in Tallaght

Last year Respond! delivered 135 new social homes and we have recently significantly ramped up our ambitions for social home delivery with 2,918 homes currently in our development pipeline. We know that the long-term solution to the current homelessness crisis is the building of social housing and we aim to play our part. We are committed to providing homes for life for those in housing need. Family Hubs are a short-term solution while we, with our partners, work on the long term solution.”

Posted: November 2017


Respond! publish Annual Report 2016

2016 was a year of great change in Respond!

We are privileged to have a new Chairperson in John O’Connor and largely a new Board of Directors, whose experience and acumen is undoubted.

Declan Dunne also joined Respond! as the new CEO in August 2016 and we have set upon a path of internal transformation in order to properly situate ourselves in the current housing and homelessness context and to set a clear path for our future direction.

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 To view the full report please click  Respond! Annual Report 2016 

Respond! has significantly ramped up our social house build and acquisition plans in order to address the significant shortfall in social housing supply which is causing many of the downstream issues of homelessness and insecurity.

2016 saw the official opening of John’s College in Waterford City. Originally a diocesan seminary John’s College is now a 67-unit state of the art development for older people and those with special needs and requirements. John’s College now a vibrant space where residents and the wider Waterford community interact via the Hub Café and the other community services located there. This adds to Respond!’s considerable output in Waterford city and county where we have built 574 social homes since our founding in 1982.

Moy Glas Glade in Lucan is now home to 14 families who were previously many years on the social housing list. Originally an unfinished private estate, Respond! took over Moy Glas Glade and ensured the completion of the project for social use.

Phase I of Ashmount Mews in the Mayfield area of Cork City was opened in 2016 and 16 families got the keys to their new homes. Ashmount Mews was Respond’s first NARPS development – NAMA’s special purpose vehicle to take ownership of properties where there is an established demand, leasing them to a local authority or Approved Housing Body. When Phase II is completed 35 families will be housed in long-term, secure situation. Respond! continued also to advocate on behalf of our residents via submissions to the policy process arguing that eliminating barriers to social house-building is the single greatest way we can contribute to fulfilling the ambitions of Rebuilding Ireland.

Respond! are a solutions-oriented organisation unafraid to innovate but knowing we have to keep listening and learning all the while. The new Strategic Plan we are embarking on will ensure that the organisational structure is fully aligned to the new strategy.

Declan stated that he is  “delighted at the progress we all made together in 2016 and am genuinely excited by our new strategic development process which I believe will make sure Respond! only goes from strength to strength”

Posted:  8th November 2017


Christmas Card Competition 2017

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Kianna with her winning entry

Respond! Christmas card competition – overall winner is Kianna Byrne from Drogheda (aged 8)

  • Age 16 category Annmarie Kelly O’Brien ( Co Limerick)
  • Age 10 category Kianna Byrne (Co Louth)
  • Age 6 category Lily Lanning (Co Clare

One €100.00 Smyths voucher was awarded in each of the three categories.

DSCN4626[1]There were over 100 entries and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD selected the winning entries.

Lily Lanning, Shannon, Co Clare age 6

Winning entry by Lily Lanning, Co Clare age 6

Annmarie Kelly O'Brien, Limerick age 15

Winning entry by Annmarie Kelly O’Brien, Limerick age 15

Please find  an example of some of the other artistic entries below

CYMERA Collage of runners up

Well done to all who took part

Christmas card comp 2017

Posted: November 2017

Beauchamps’ social housing event with Minister Eoghan Murphy

Beauchamps photo

Group photo: Back L – R: Declan Dunne, CEO, Respond! Housing Association / Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government / Felix McKenna, CEO of Urbeo Residential / John White, Managing Partners, Beauchamps / John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency Front L – R: Dorit McCann, Partner & Head of EU, Competition & Procurement, Beauchamps /Fidelma McManus, Partner & Head of Housing, Beauchamps

On 25 October 2017, Beauchamps held a social housing event with special guest Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The event provided a forum for clients and other participants in the housing sector to engage on key issues related to the housing crisis. The purpose of the event was to spark some very fresh thinking about the provision of social housing in Ireland and also to provide practical guidance on overcoming one of the key challenges – procuring social housing developments.

The event was attended by over 80 representatives from local authorities, developers, approved housing bodies, financial institutions, funds, state bodies and other key participants in the social housing sector.

The event looked at:

  • Government initiatives associated with €1.9 billion budget allocation for housing next year (and increase of 46% on 2017)
  • How to ensure procurement processes do not present obstacles to the efficient delivery of social housing
  • Coordination between the private and public sectors for delivery of social housing and sustainable communities
  • Key success factors identified from recent experience with successful social housing initiatives – such as NAMA’s NARPS Project – in order to deliver large scale housing more efficiently

Minister Eoghan Murphy – Eoghan Murphy TD was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in June 2017 by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He is a member of Fine Gael and represents the constituency of Dublin Bay South.
Felix McKenna – Felix McKenna was recently appointed CEO of Urbeo Residential, a newly created Fund to provide social and affordable housing in sustainable mixed-tenure communities. Felix was previously Deputy Head of Asset Management at NAMA with responsibility for social housing delivery.
Declan Dunne – Declan joined Respond! as CEO in August 2016 following on from his role as CEO of Sophia Housing Association. He was a Director of the Ballymun Regeneration Board for ten years and also serves as Chair of the Homeless Network all of the major Homeless Agencies. Declan is a member of Dublin Statutory Consultative Homeless Forum and the Implementation Advisory Group at the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.
John O’Connor – John is the Chief Executive of the Housing Agency, which is a statutory body set up under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG). John was previously the Chief Executive of the Affordable Homes Partnership and prior to that Executive Manager with Dublin City Council’s Housing Department.

Posted: November 2017 Source:

Respond! Family Hub – Tallaght

Roof top (5)Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD will launch Respond!’s Family Hub in Tallaght on Friday 10th of November at 8:45 am, more details to follow……


Killure Grove prepare for Halloween 2017

A spooketacular event was held in Killure Grove Community Centre to celebrate Halloween 2017. The community got in the spirit of the occasion early spending time together making decorations for the community centre and also designing costumes for the scary night.

Congratulations to all the children who entered an art competition themed the magic of Halloween and received prizes.

Children of all ages got into the spirit of Halloween dressing in fantastic costumes, they also enjoyed face painting, pumpkin carving, ducking for apples and treats galore. Great night had by all.