Time for concrete plans on social housing. The 32nd Dáil needs to start building – Respond!

The Respond! Housing charity today called on all TDs elected to the new Dáil to make the delivery of social housing their number 1 priority as they enter negotiations on possible dimensions of a new Government.

Ned Brennan, CEO of Respond! said:

“Regardless of who is Taoiseach or what parties make up the new Government, one thing has been clear for some time – that is Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis so severe we see new families becoming homeless every day. Continue reading

Paul Melia: Amid all the chaos, planning for ageing is forgotten

Reporter with the Irish Independent Paul Melia spoke to Ned Brennan about the housing crises and the findings contained in the ESRI Study March 2016

Paul Melia: Amid all the chaos, planning for ageing is forgotten
Published in the Independent on 9th March 2016

In a housing crisis, it’s no surprise that sectoral interests fall by the wayside.

For a Government facing a national emergency on homelessness, coupled with a need to boost housing supply to cater for renters, those on council waiting lists and private homeowners, it was inevitable that housing for the elderly fell down the list of priorities.

And while the ESRI suggests giving cash to these empty nesters to encourage them to move into smaller homes, it’s worth bearing in mind that the think-tank estimates this would release just 26,000 homes – this is little over a year’s supply.

Of far bigger concern, and something which all policy makers need to start tackling, is how we deal with our ageing population. Continue reading

Respond! College celebrates the graduation of the first cohort of CCS students

The Respond! College conferring ceremonies in Dublin and Cork was a huge celebration for our graduates and their families. This new qualification saw the graduation of 32 students with a Level 6 Certificate in Community Studies. The course was designed to explore concepts of community and community development within a social analysis framework and encourage participation within a community setting. It blends academic depth and rigour with an opportunity to achieve a deep sense of well-being and personal fulfilment. Continue reading

Remove the obstacles to the delivery of social housing or homelessness will explode

In the context of the €1.5 billion fiscal space available in Budget 2016, RESPOND! Housing believe that social housing should be prioritised as the greatest social challenge facing Ireland’s current generation.  The housing charity think that the Government regulations and taxes, have made homes too expensive to construct and urge the removal of increased regulation, planning and finance obstacles which are hindering increased social housing supply. Continue reading

Tallaght Domestic Violence Refuge Forced to Close

RESPOND! Housing has announced that it cannot continue to fund the Cuan Álainn homeless refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence in Tallaght. Respond! has bank-rolled the refuge in Tallaght for the past three and half years without any financial support from the State.

“We cannot continue to fully subvent this service, 100% from our own resources, without any State assistance due to the cost burden. We have come to the regrettable decision to close the service in an orderly manner before the end of the year” stated Ned Brennan, Chief Executive Officer with Respond! Continue reading

Respond! announce major energy upgrade of 550 homes in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Respond! Housing is delighted to have been approved by the Housing Finance Agency under European Investment Bank funding for energy upgrade works to 550 homes. The securing of this loan along with grant funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will enable deep retrofit energy upgrade works to 550 homes, in various parts of the country, at an overall project cost of €7.88 million. The wide ranging upgrade works include installation of new gas & oil boilers, heat pumps, inset stoves, heating controls, new doors and windows, attic and wall insulation, CO alarms and CFL bulbs. Since 2012, Respond! has undertaken energy upgrade works to 1,340 units at an overall project cost of € 12.6 million with a grant funding from SEAI of just under €6.2 million. Ned Brennan CEO with Respond! acknowledged:

“Respond! is pleased to announce that it is the first Approved Housing Body in Ireland to benefit from funding available through the European Investment Bank and the Housing Finance Agency for the retrofitting of existing social houses.  Respond! is also very grateful for the support we receive from the SEAI. We expect this combined financial investment will greatly enhance our properties and reduce overall heating costs to our tenants”.  Continue reading

Respond! wins Housing Award for Creative Supply of Social Housing

RESPOND! was announced the worthy winner of the prestigious ICSH Community Housing Awards 2015 for “ Most Creative Supply Response” for the completion of the NAMA owned ‘ghost estate’ at Oakley Wood, Tullow, Co Carlow.

Oakley Wood is a development of family houses located in Tullow, Co. Carlow. The estate at Oakley Wood was the first unfinished estate controlled by the National Management Agency NAMA to be acquired for social housing. This project was also the first exclusively social housing NAMA project in the country to be taken on under the new private finance model of funding. It represented a unique collaboration between NAMA, Carlow County Council, the Department of Environment Community and Local Government and RESPOND!.  This development saw 55 unfinished houses completed for the benefit of families in need of housing in the Tullow area in 2014. The family estate is now supported by a community facility where RESPOND! work with residents developing programmes and supports for children, teenagers and adults. RESPOND! is delighted to have been in a position to provide long-term sustainable homes, through a new avenue (at the time) as an innovative solution to social housing shortages. Continue reading

CEO Fr. Patrick Cogan, ofm, to retire

The Board of Respond! Housing Association wishes to announce the retirement of Fr. Patrick Cogan, ofm, from his role as Chief Executive Officer.

In doing so the Board is especially pleased that Pat will be staying on as a non-executive director and will have a continuing advisory role to Respond! and a sister company, Respond (Support) Ltd. In particular, this advisory role will include finalising, and completion of planning, of a number of very important initiatives and projects presently in hand.*

Respond! Management Changes from 1st June 2015 

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Respond! continue to advocate for homeless and abused families

Domestic violence refuges were forced to turn away almost 3,500 women and children seeking emergency accommodation last year due to lack of resources. Unfortunately, what Respond! has been predicting for many years, across successive national administrations, has come to pass: without proper planning and resources, the most vulnerable in our society have been the first to suffer. In January 2012 RESPOND! opened Cuan Alainn Women and Children’s refuge, based in Tallaght, catering for women and their children fleeing from domestic violence, in response to an identified need for the service in the area.

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