Two new housing projects were officially opened by Minister Phil Hogan, T.D. on May 6th 2011 in Counties Tipperary and Carlow. The developments were designed and built by Respond Housing Association and funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Friary Gardens in Carrick-on-Suir and St Francis Farm in Tullow are the first housing developments officially opened by Minister Hogan since his appointment as Minister in March of this year.
The first opening took place in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. ‘Friary Gardens’ is a new sheltered housing project that will meet the housing and community needs of older people in South Tipperary and surrounding areas. According to Pat Cogan, CEO of Respond Housing Association, the housing development and its communal facilities will benefit not only residents but also the lcoal community.
“Friary Gardens will be used primarily to accommodate older residents as Respond has always recognised the need for good quality independent accommodation for older people. We work alongside existing community based support services to create an enabling framework of supports that allow our residents to live independently and experience as good a quality of life in their own home for as long as possible. Friary Gardens also contains a group home which will be used as a respite centre for disabled adults supported by local voluntary groups in South Tipperary and surrounding areas.”
Speaking at the event, Minister Hogan noted the important contribution made by the voluntary sector in the past in meeting the housing needs of people throughout Ireland.
“The role of the voluntary sector cannot be underestimated and the sector will continue to be a very important cog in the social housing machine in the years to come. There exists an excellent relationship between the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Respond Housing Association and this will continue into the future.”
The second housing project officially opened by Minister Hogan was St Francis Farm in Tullow, Co Carlow. A rehabilitative housing project designed by Respond Housing Association, St Francis Farm will be managed by Merchants Quay Ireland. St Francis Farm will help meet the needs of those who are homeless and expereriencing addiction problems.
Both housing projects were funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government under the Capital Assistance Scheme for a combined cost of almost €6 million. Friary Gardens and St Francis Farm are two of ten housing projects Respond Housing Association intends on officially opening in 2011.