Ground-breaking  lifetime adaptable homes for over 55’s
Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conway, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, John Hannigan CEO of Circle VHA and Sean Moynihan CEO of ALONE with Sr Agnes Coll, Sr Jo Kennedy and Sr Breda Burke from Inchicore Photos by Conor McCabe

Ground-breaking lifetime adaptable homes for over 55’s

THE ground-breaking Housing Agency ‘Housing with Support’ toolkit was launched on Monday and became the first development under the scheme at Richmond Place in Inchicore.

Housing with Support (HwS) is a new model of housing and care provision in Ireland.

It is underpinned by age-appropriate housing and universal design principles including own door living with onsite staff supports (non-medical), to allow people to live with dignity and independence for as long as possible and to continue to live in their community.

Richmond Place is a successful partnership between approved housing body Circle VHA and ALONE, to design, build and deliver 52 lifetime adaptable homes to the over 55’s community.

This is the first ‘Housing with Support’ scheme in Ireland, as part of the Government’s Demonstrator Project under Housing for All, jointly commissioned by Dublin City Council, who transferred the land for Richmond Place to Circle VHA and thank DCC Councillors for approving the transfer, and the HSE.

The ’Housing with Support’ model is intended to set a new standard for the future of housing provision for older people and to act as an exemplar for others to follow.

:John Hannigan CEO of Circle VHA pictured with Sr Breda Burke and Sr Agnes Coll

Speaking at the launch Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien said: “As set out in our Housing for All plan, the Government are working to ensure we have an age friendly Ireland in which older people can live long and healthy lives, participate in their communities and have a range of housing options and health supports to make this possible.

“I want to commend Circle, ALONE and Dublin City Council who are working on this project with the HSE. This ‘Housing with Support’ model is one which Government would like to see replicated nationally, the toolkit launched today will support us to do just that and I look forward to seeing this development progress,” he concluded.

At the ground breaking at Richmond Place  Circle VHA CEO John Hannigan celebrated the kickstart to the first phase of the ‘Housing with Support’ demonstrator model, Circle’s first construction project, which will deliver 52 homes, due for completion in quarter two of 2024.

“For the over 55’s community, these are lifetime adaptable homes with communal space on the ground floor for socialising, green spaces and comprising of 1 and half bedrooms designed for a family member to stay to support their loved one, ensure adequate storage for aids and appliances to support the person remaining at home or to ensure a person can continue to engage in their leisure and hobby activities,” Hannigan said.

“Care support will be provided by Alone in line with the supports provided to the community, but as the carers will be onsite the needs of each individual can be continually assessed and care can be tailored to the needs in a timely manner.

“The team at Circle VHA are delighted with the opportunity to design, build and operate this unique development and to collaborate with Alone to bring together a range of services and supports for older people. As a prototype with the potential for national rollout, we would like to see and be in a position to deliver more of these projects across Ireland.

“This development is 100% grant funded by CAS (Capital Assistance Scheme) funding with a contribution from the HSE / Department of Health towards additional communal facilities for the residents.”

The ‘Housing with Support’ project is a result of work carried out by the Dublin City Age Friendly Housing Working Group (HWG) to design an integrated housing scheme for older people that allows them to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

ALONE is pioneering this new model to Ireland which incorporates universal design principles with technology solutions, to provide, age-appropriate designed homes in the right location with independent living – lifetime adaptable homes with own front door and ‘Person-centred’, ‘flexible’ supports through an ‘ablement’ and ‘re-ablement’ approach.

Keeping, gaining and re-gaining the skills and confidence to live independently with 24/7 staff on site and care support during the day (non-medical) with individual support plans optimising their functional ability, delivering activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) for those who need it.

Community integration will support older people to establish and maintain links in their community, mitigating social isolation placing an emphasis on health and wellbeing and Support Coordination offers coordination of supports and services for older people, such as but not limited to local services, health and medical, financial, social welfare and housing.

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