Minister for Health Simon Harris launched Co-operative Housing Ireland’s new social housing development of 144 residential units at Hazelwood, Rathnew, Co. Wicklow yesterday, 29th January 2020.
Families moved into the first 78 homes in Hazelbrook in the run-up to Christmas and a further 66 families will be moving in over the coming weeks. The tenants are also members of the newly established Avoca Co-operative, this means they have input into the decision-making of the co-operative.
The delivery of this housing was made possible by a new lending partnership between Co-operative Housing Ireland and Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking. These 144 homes were delivered for just over €40 million, with an average purchase price per unit of €279,000. The development comprises a mix of duplexes, apartments and houses.
Cllr. Irene Winters, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, said “I recognise the serious challenge we face in terms of housing and a critical focus and priority has been firmly placed on responding to this challenge through the development and implementation of the Social Housing supply programme. I am delighted at the co-ordinated effort between Wicklow County Council and Cooperative Housing Ireland to deliver these 144 homes. So far, 265 people have moved into the first 78 homes, and these new tenants have been filled from the Wicklow County Council housing list. Nine of the people housed so far in Hazelbrook are coming from homelessness and 138 are children. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this project to completion.”
Kieron Brennon, CEO Co-operative housing Ireland, said “This deal could not have been put together without the support of Wicklow County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. The 144 homes are of mixed sizes. There are one, two, three, and four-bedroom units fitted out to the highest of standards, all with a minimum BER rating of A3. The new residents have been moving into these homes in recent weeks and we welcome these families to their new Avoca Co-operative. Under the co-operative housing model, families come together to manage their community in a way that benefits all tenants. I particularly wish to express my gratitude to the team in Bank of Ireland, both for their enthusiasm for the project and their belief in Co-operative Housing Ireland.”
Frank Curran, CEO Wicklow County Council said, “The provision of these 144 social homes in Rathnew is of significant importance to the people of Wicklow. This collaborative approach to delivery is at the heart of the Council’s supply programme and, of course, part of the strategy contained in Rebuilding Ireland. The Council currently has 18 projects at various stages of construction and tendering, with funding of over €58million already sanctioned by the Department. A further 16 Schemes are under active consideration with a potential yield for a further 260 units by 2021. We are also engaged with Approved Housing Bodies under the CALF and CAS schemes and with private developers who are delivering additional units under Part V. I must sincerely express my gratitude to the Minister and his staff in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.”
Paul McDonnell, Head of Property Finance Group in Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking said: “We were delighted to support Co-operative Housing Ireland in the delivery of much needed social housing. Funding of social housing is of strategic importance to the Bank as we help to facilitate the delivery of critical social infrastructure within our communities.”