Neighbours Day at Respond (the sun shone)

Respond celebrated European Neighbours’ Day in Dublin on the 23rd May and in Waterford on the 25th May.

2018-05-24_11-08-17-717Everyone had a fantastic day in High Park celebrating Neighbours Day and with a fantastic meal followed by face painting and 99 ice creams for everyone.

DSCN4918 (2)Respond also hosted a BBQ for Respond residents and staff at the community allotments located in Waterford . Jack Molly’s supplied the delicious food and Eamon the summer tunes. The sun shone and one resident commented that it was our best BBQ yet.

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DSCN4980DSCN4972Respond has taken part in the pan-European Neighbours’ Day event since 2013. The festival itself is  now in its 18th year and has extended beyond European borders to be celebrated by millions of people worldwide. Since its launch in Paris in 2000, the party is celebrated around the world by millions of people – 1450 partner cities, housing organisations and associations are participating in over 36 countries with more than 30 million participants! The impressive development of Neighbours’ Day is living proof that the desire to promote a “better living together” has no borders!

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Each year, Neighbours’ Day keeps on growing with new partners. The celebration is an opportunity to reconnect with the values of community and friendship that should be at the forefront of all neighbourly relations.DSCN4936

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Posted: May 2018

 

Integration celebrated in Gleann na hEorna estate

AM8I3050On Thursday 29th March the residents of the Gleann na hEorna estate in Springfield Tallaght held an ‘Integration Day’ to prepare for Easter on the estate.

Gleann na hEorna has 147 social housing apartments for tenants of Respond Housing (112 units), South Dublin County Council, John of Gods, Cheeverstown and the Peter McVerry Trust. All organisations are members of an estate-wide Steering Committee to ensure cross-community cohesion and management of the development.

AM8I2971AM8I2928AM8I2866The children were delighted to have horticulturalist and educationalist Aoife Munn to help them in their spring planting.

There was a great turnout by residents of Gleann na hEorna to hear Lord Mayor Paul Gogarty congratulate them for their spring-clean and how to keep the estate litter free into the future.

29/3/18 ***NO REPRO FEE*** Craig O’Rafferty aged 12 a resident at the Respond social housing development in Tallght pictured at the planting of a tree of hope this morning Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

The Lord Mayor then officiated at the planting of a Tree of Hope outside the Resource Centre. It was a solemn moment for all attending. The Tree is to commemorate those relatives and friends of residents who have lost their lives through suicide, to ensure we never forget them and also as a promise of new beginnings.

Cllr. Charlie O’Connor read a moving poem he wrote on remembering those we have lost and how they will always stay with us.

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29/3/18 ***NO REPRO FEE*** Councillor Paul Gogarty , Mayor of South Dublin County Council gets his chain of office tested by a resident at the Respond social housing development in Tallght pictured prior to the planting of a tree of hope this morning Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Hugh Hogan, Director of Housing for South Dublin County Council was in attendance and was thanked for the Council’s support of the Steering Committee and he pledged to continue the support for further planting activities on the estate.

Padraic Brennan, Eastern Regional Manager of Respond Housing thanked the Council, John of Gods and Cheeverstown for helping to organise the day.

AM8I2878“This day and this event has been led by the residents of Gleann na hEorna and this is as it should be. You all share this living space and the only way an estate like this can be properly managed is by everyone working together. Today at Easter time we remember those we have lost but we focus on the future and of hope. Easter is a time of new beginnings – new life, new growth. All the organisations and residents here will continue to work together to make sure that the future is bright for everyone who is lucky enough to live in such a vibrant community where we all support each other”.

Posted: April 2018

12 new social homes for Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon – Respond

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Respond Housing is pleased to announce our recent purchase of 12 houses in Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon. These are 12 x 3 bed houses who will soon be home to 12 families from the social housing list in Roscommon.

CEO of Respond Housing Declan Dunne said:

“We are delighted to be able to help make some inroads into the social housing list with our partners in Roscommon County Council. These 12 houses represent just over one fifth of the 55 households who have expressed a preference to live in Ballaghadereen.”

“While offers have been made to some families, Respond will be hosting a Viewing Day for people who have offers to live in the new houses and those who have been nominated by the local authority on the 26th of March. Thereafter, we will commence the pre-tenancy process.

“We expect that people will begin to move into the houses in early April.

“This will mean that 12 families comprising 36 individuals will soon have their ‘forever home’ in the area of their choice. Respond will also have a Resident Support Worker for all families working with them individually in their new tenancy and to ensure access to services to which they are entitled. It is projects like this all over Ireland that will help alleviate the housing and homelessness crisis.”

Ballaghaderreen (4)Note for Editors

Respond purchased the homes from Remcoll Capital under the Capital Assistance and Loan Facility (CALF) and Payment and Availability (PAA) from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government at a total cost of €1.29 million.

All new residents will be nominated by Roscommon County Council.

Posted:  March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Unique event to explore best practice in preventing homelessness in Galway City

Ned Brennan, Chief Operations officer with Respond will speak at  an upcoming event exploring best practice in preventing homelessness happening in Galway on Monday 26th February 2018.

In a first for Galway, all the organisations concerned with homelessness in Galway City have come together to organise a unique event next Monday that will explore innovative solutions to the prevention of homelessness in Galway City, now and into the future.

The morning session will be chaired by Professor Siobhán Mullally, established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and the afternoon will be chaired by Anastasia Crickley, outgoing chairperson of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, an expert on human rights.

Martin O’Connor of COPE stated, ‘Homelessness has become an all too real fact of life in our city over recent years.  We have experienced a growth in family homelessness with some families living in emergency accommodation in hotels and B&B’s for extended periods of time and we regularly see people sleeping rough in shop doorways in our city centre.  Our aim with this event is to help shape local responses to these needs and to help stem the flow of even more families and individuals into homelessness by identifying ways to prevent this happening’.

With speakers from Respond Housing, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance and others, the organisers hope to identify initiatives from across the country that might be adopted or adapted to address homelessness in Galway. Commenting, Paul Hargaden of Respond Housing Association stated, ‘This Galway Housing Conference affords a unique opportunity to examine the underlying issues which have contributed to the current housing crises and creates a platform to develop a collaborative approach to seeking sustainable solutions.’

The organisations have come together under the umbrella of the Galway City Community Network, the Public Participation Network in Galway City and include COPE Galway, Threshold, Galway Simon Community, Respond Housing, Clúid Housing, Galway Traveller Movement, the Community Knowledge Initiative NUI Galway, Galway Co-operative Housing and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Speaking about the collaborative nature of the event, Ann Irwin of Galway City Community Network stated, ‘It was very important for all of the organisations that we take a collaborative, partnership approach to addressing the issue of homelessness in Galway city. We found that there was real strength in working together and we are looking forward to exploring solutions to homelessness with participants from a range of organisations and the local authority on Monday’.

Concluding, Karen Golden CEO of the Galway Simon Community stated, ‘Galway Simon Community is delighted to be involved in this collaboration with all of the organisations working to address homelessness in Galway.  Combining our collective local experience with the expertise of others working to address the crisis elsewhere will enable us all to work on constructive solutions focused on preventing families and individuals at risk of homelessness in Galway entering emergency accommodation while also improving outcomes for those who have no option but to access homeless services.’

Posted:  21st February 2018

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.

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

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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.

VIDEO TAKEN AT THIS OPENING CAN BE FOUND HERE

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

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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.

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

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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

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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:

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

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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”

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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