As 2019 moves swiftly into 2020, Clúid Housing – Ireland’s largest Approved Housing Body (AHB) – moves into its 26th year. With that in mind, the association is planning on how to build on a quarter century which has seen it go from a few houses in Clondalkin to over 7,000 across the country.Clúid Housing’s new Corporate Strategy, Building Focus, brings us from 2019 up to 2022 and is a clear statement of how we will focus our energies and resources in the next three years as we fulfil our mandate as an organisation.
While Clúid Housing operates only in the social rented area of the housing market, we are acutely aware of the interconnectedness of the different housing tenures, which means that difficulties in one part impacts on all other parts. Demand far exceeds supply across all parts of the housing market, so this all-encompassing approach is an important focus in our future planning, for the knock-on effect alone.
This approach is reflected in our identifying objectives which we feel benefit the sector as a whole. A headline objective for us is to resource efforts to create a sustainable intermediate rental sector, to assist in stabilising the housing market. A central goal of our strategy is to develop an intermediate rental model. A number of models are currently being explored, including cost rental, which relates rental payments to the cost of provision, and affordable rental, which relates rents to the market rent and tenant’s ability to pay.
The benefits of developing intermediate renting include: Providing housing to meet a neglected need; Contributing to securing our business through a diverse offering; and enabling us to develop larger mixed tenure sites.Intermediate rental will be generated in two ways: through the conversion of existing social housing in areas with a high density of social housing and through undertaking new intermediate rental housing. The model we will adopt will be one which enables us to consistently develop a viable and replicable model.
Developing an offering
We will shortly be launching our dedicated older persons housing arm of Clúid Housing which will help to consolidate it as a new and distinct offering, separate from that offered through our general needs housing. The development of this service will be guided initially by an expert advisory group.
We believe the development will encourage approaches from AHBs who are considering exiting from housing provision, creating a place where residents can downsize.There is a gap in housing and support options for older people, between remaining at home and going into a nursing home. We are dedicated to filling that gap as a service provider through building more schemes like Broome Lodge, which has been nominated this year in the Category of Housing for Older People by the Irish Council for Social Housing.
Our dedicated schemes for older people promote independence, autonomy and choice and offer a sustainable alternative housing model to residential care. They are also significantly less expensive.
Clúid has completed four major regeneration projects to date: Killarney Court in Dublin (originally St. Joseph’s Mansions); St. Michael’s Road in Longford; St. Patrick’s Estate in Ballina, Mayo; and part of the Cranmore Estate in Sligo. We are in the process of completing our fifth regeneration project on St Mary’s Mansions. This €21 million project will provide high quality social housing to 80 local families and single people.
The works will include the addition of two new floors and will be laid out as 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom apartments and duplexes.The regeneration of St. Mary’s Mansions is the first major redevelopment in the area following the publication of the Mulvey report in 2016 which highlighted the need for action to make the North East inner city area a safe, attractive and vibrant living and working environment for the community and its families with opportunities for all to lead full lives.Clúid’s past experience means that we are able to deliver on the community’s vision and take the responsibility to do so seriously. Clúid is committed to enabling tenants to create thriving communities within their neighbourhoods. With this in mind, we have recently advertised the role of Community Development & Resident Engagement Coordinator.
This role will link in with the work already done by our excellent Housing Services team. They will work with and support staff and residents to deliver community development initiatives, as well as identifying opportunities that secure additional resources for community activities, including grant funding, donations or partner commitments. We are excited to see our outreach with the wider Clúid community grow in this way. For us, it speaks to the sustainability of our work.
By Fiona Cormican – New Business Director, Clúid Housing