Wexford families benefit from county’s first housing co-operative

New housing at Parkton Mews, Enniscorthy is the first housing co-operative to be opened in the south east and was officially opened by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD today. Vice Chairman for Enniscorthy Municipal District, Cllr. James Browne represented Wexford County Council.

The homes in Enniscorthy are part of a previously unfinished estate and the completion works have been provided through a partnership between NABCO and NAMA’s special purpose vehicle for social housing, NARPS. The homes have been leased for 20 years under an agreement with NABCO and NARPS. This is the latest in a series of partnerships between the two agencies that has already delivered 58 homes in Cork, Waterford and Dublin.

Families in Enniscorthy have been provided with a mix of nineteen homes ranging from one and two bedroom apartments to two and three bedroom with 13 families already in residence. The homes are built around managed open space that is shared with occupants from privately owned homes on the estate. The tenant-members of the co-operative will be able to exercise a real say in the running of the estate. The development of Parkton Mews was supported by an upfront investment by NABCO of €300,000.

NABCO is the national organisation representing, promoting and developing co-operative housing in Ireland. The board of NABCO as the national organisation is also elected from tenant-members across the country.

Speaking at the opening, NABCO CEO, Kieron Brennan said: “NABCO’s strategy is to respond to the national housing crisis by growing across the country in response to local need. Significant growth across Leinster is a key aim for us and we are delighted to be starting in County Wexford”.

Commenting on the transaction, NAMA Chief Executive, Brendan McDonagh said: “NAMA works closely with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, with the Housing Agency, and with local authorities and approved housing bodies to make properties available for social housing. Today’s announcement is a good example of that work. We provided €700,000 in funding to finish off the 15 houses to the highest standard and to make them available for tenants through NABCO. Nationally we have invested over €50m to make houses and apartments available for social housing. Through collaboration with NABCO and other approved housing bodies we intend to continue making a positive contribution. By the end of 2015, we expect to have made 2,000 properties available for social housing. Ultimately, these transactions are about people and we wish the new residents all the very best in their new homes”.

Speaking in Enniscorthy, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D, said: “This government’s Social Housing Strategy commits to delivering 35,000 new homes for social housing over the period to 2020. In Budget 2016 the Government has increased the allocation for social housing by €125m to €811m, which demonstrates the priority that the Government places on social housing and homelessness. This increased allocation together with €112m from Local Authorities will fund measures to meet the new homes targets in the Social Housing Strategy and provide for the housing needs of over 17,000 households in 2016. Having seen the quality of houses provided here in Parkton mews, I’m delighted that Approved Housing Bodies such as NABCO will play a key role in the delivery of the Social Housing Strategy”.

In his remarks at the opening, Vice Chairman of Enniscorthy Municipal District Cllr. James Browne said: “These new homes are of the first quality and we are delighted that they have been made available to local families on the Wexford housing list through the partnership between Wexford County Council, NAMA and NABCO”.