15th February 2019
Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has launched nine new social housing units in Kilbeggan Co. Westmeath. It marks the start of the charity’s work to respond to the social housing need in Westmeath, where it will specifically help people impacted by homelessness in the county. The charity revealed that the new units in Kilbeggan are part of the charity’s wider plan to respond to homelessness in the Midlands through a housing-led response.
The official opening was performed by Minister of State for Housing and Urban Regeneration, Damien English TD. The opening was attended by members of Westmeath County Council and representatives of Peter McVerry Trust.
Speaking at the launch of the new units Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We are absolutely delighted to launch our work in County Westmeath by opening these high-quality homes. These units will respond to the local needs of people waiting on social housing, and the mix of one and two-bed units will particularly benefit single people and couples who can often find it harder to secure housing.”
The nine apartments include five two-bed and four one-bed units which were delivered in partnership with Westmeath County Council through the long-term Social Housing Leasing Scheme under Rebuilding Ireland. The apartments in Kilbeggan were refurbished and converted from a number of unused commercial units.
All tenants in the development will have access to Peter McVerry Trust’s Housing With Supports Team, which works to provide tailored supports to households and individuals depending on their needs.
Mr Doyle continued, “The aim of Peter McVerry Trust’s Housing with Supports Team is to ensure that tenants, especially those exiting homelessness, are happy and supported in their own home to live independently and leave homelessness behind for good. When we offer someone a key to their own home, we are also offering them access to appropriate wraparound support services”.
Concluding, Mr Doyle encouraged the owners of vacant houses or commercial buildings in town centres to contact the charity. “We’ve been working over the last number of years to build up an expertise in reusing long-term empty or derelict buildings. We are now looking for more opportunities in Westmeath and we’d be happy to speak to and partner with other owners of vacant buildings to possibly return them to use for social housing.”