Homeless hub for ‘small families’ planned for former nursing home

By Maurice Garvey

PLANS for a homeless hub for families to be located at the former Cappaghmore Nursing Home in Clondalkin, has been blasted by residents who cite lack of communication with the council.

According to South Dublin County Council, the proposal they received for the hub, provides 13 rooms “suitable for small families” and also includes a range of supports including “24/7 on site management.”

Cappaghmore 2 1

The former nursing home in Cappaghmore

The former nursing home consists of two houses, in an estate which normally has four-bed homes.

It previously consisted of three homes while in use as a nursing home.

The Echo understands the properties were sold last year to a private landlord.

The council agreed to support the proposed facility following a number of factors, including “analysis of the property, the absence of appropriate homeless facilities in the local area, suitability of the location for families and value for money”.

The Echo has asked the council how many families are to be moved into the 13-bed hub.

A circular sent out to local representatives from the local authority said further support for the proposal was provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) and approval received from the Department of Housing for an initial two-year term with the facility expected to be available for occupancy in the coming weeks. 

“The facility is subject to the National Quality Standards Framework, overseen by the DRHE, to ensure that its physical environment is suitable, and will be managed through 24-hour staffing by a team of social and care workers specialising in homeless support services,” said the circular.

“It will be a drug and alcohol-free facility and there will be 24/7 on site management to deal with any matters arising. In addition, there will be supported exit plans for families overseen by facility management in conjunction with the Council/DRHE including through the use of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).”

Cllr Trevor Gilligan (FF), who grew up in Cappaghmore, said he was “disappointed” to hear about the proposals “from residents rather than South Dublin County Council”.

“The name of the game is consult, consult, consult. This was done without consultation, with no communication to elected representatives and without any consultation with local residents,” he said.

“This is a function for management, meaning Cllrs cannot decide or vote for or against the decision. It would have been good to have some representation. It doesn’t look good for elected reps. Generally the council are quite good, it is a pity it has come to this.”

Cllr Gilligan fears this process will be “standard for other nursing homes” in the area down the line.

The council said an oversight group similar to those operating for other homeless facilities in the county will be established and queries regarding the facility can be raised with its management team.

“It is the council’s policy to progress families from self-accommodate/hotels to family hubs to more stable tenure to support further progression to a HAP or social housing tenancy,” said the council.

“The number of families on this council’s housing list using self-accommodate/hotel type accommodation is currently at 38 families, from a peak of 224 families in May 2019, and this facility provides an avenue to further reduce and move towards eliminating reliance on self-accommodate by providing a family hub with quality facilities and services that will significantly enhance the level of homeless service provision both in the county and particularly in the Clondalkin area.”

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