October 19, 2021
News Property

Waterford-based homeless charity to build 2,500 new social homes

A Waterford city-based based homeless charity has promised to build 2,500 new social homes over the next five years – and it hopes to hand over keys to some houses before Christmas.

Respond, which is headquartered in Airmount, Dominick Place, already has 1,160 housing units in construction or on site, some of which will become available in December.

In 2018, the charity provided 110 families with emergency accommodation and “wraparound support” including in mental and physical health.

A total of 158 children, 94 of whom were under-5, were housed and supported by the charity last year. Just five of these families went on to secure local authority housing, while 36 moved into private accommodation through the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme. And 16 families left emergency accommodation to stay with family.

Their average length of stay in emergency accommodation was six months, the charity’s annual report, which was launched this week, reveals.

Niamh Randall, head of advocacy and communications at Respond, said: “The average turnaround time in emergency accommodation is six months. The blockage is lack of access to housing.

“We’ve committed to building 2,500 homes up to 2023. We have 1,160 in construction and on site, the first trench of homes will come on stream in December. We hope to hand over the keys to some of these in the run-up to Christmas.”

Respond has built 5,899 homes nationally since it was founded in 1982. Some 605 of these were in Waterford, 1,000 in Dublin and 589 in Cork.

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