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Ground-Breaking Cost Rental Collaboration and Landmark Restoration Project Take Top Community Housing Awards

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council secured the overall national winner award at the Irish Council for Social Housing Community Housing Awards 2023, sponsored by Allianz, on the 18th October 2023. The Biennial Community Awards were presented by RTE presenter Anne Cassin.

Members of the public also had an opportunity to vote for the project they felt most deserved of recognition. And Stanwix Village Thurles, an historic supported housing project that has been recently renovated, scooped the Public Choice Award.

Speaking at the 2023 Community Housing Awards, Donal McManus, Chief Executive of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) said: “The Enniskerry Road ‘Woodside’ cost rental project is the first of its kind and has proved a great success of itself. It is also as an exemplar demonstration project, effectively green lighting the expansion of the cost rental model. What stood out for judges was the strength of the partnership that delivered the scheme; the very high-quality design and landscaping as well as the use of communal spaces was duly commended. The strength of the project’s development partnership has also led to the growth of a very effective management partnership between scheme managers Respond and Tuath Housing Associations.”

Members of the public voted in their droves to secure a win for the Stanwix Village in Thurles. Receiving the highest number of votes, the development of 19 housing units necessitated the complete refurbishment of the former Stanwix Home, a unique Alms House (and protected structure) constructed in 1889, in addition to the construction of new accommodation. The development provides independent and supported accommodation for the most vulnerable in the Thurles community in a secure, town centre location and in a semi-supported setting.

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Catherine Keenan, Director of Housing, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council said “Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council are delighted to win the ICSH Community Housing overall winner award 2023. We would like to recognise the collaborative efforts of the Council, Tuath Housing, Respond, the Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Housing Agency to deliver the first purpose-built cost rental scheme in the country”.

John McCormack, Chief Executive, Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association said “Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association are delighted to win the Public Choice Award 2023. We are a locally based approved housing body delivering housing solutions for disabled people, persons at risk of homelessness, older people and others in need of housing. We now have 81 homes with a plan to deliver a further 29 within the next three years in the wider Thurles area. Our strategy is to continue to deliver housing for people in need in the community with a focus on derelict, vacant and brownfield sites”.

Mr McManus of the ICSH added “The 2023 award entries demonstrate the dedication of the sector and the scale of the social and affordable housing development work that is ongoing throughout the country, but that often remains unseen. ‘These entries from local authorities, approved housing bodies and cooperative housing bodies exemplify the collaborative work that is happening to deliver housing to those who need it most and during very challenging times. We would like to recognise the support of the Department of Housing, local Government and Heritage in the delivery of these projects.”

Click here for more information on the Community Housing Awards 2023:

Notes for Editors

  • The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), established in 1982, is the national federation for non-profit housing associations, representing more than 270 member organisations that provide social housing. The sector manages over 54,000 homes for families on a low income, older people, disabled people and households experiencing homelessness in over 600 communities throughout Ireland.
  • Alongside the overall winner and public choice winner, additional category winners include family housing, addressing homelessness, supported housing that recognises the needs of disabled people and older people, community integration, housing management and the contribution to Housing ‘Margaret O Leary’ award. Regeneration and projects that deliver affordability for middle income households as well as solutions that address energy poverty and lower carbon emissions are also welcome newcomers to our Community Housing Awards. The category winners are:
  • [Overall Winner] Embedding Affordability: Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council, Woodside, Enniskerry Road
  • Building Communities: Cooperative Housing Ireland, Halliday Mills, Dundalk
  • Housing with Supports: Anvers Housing Association, Cloch Cora, Waterford
  • Emergency and temporary accommodation responses: Focus Housing, Covid shielding service
  • Best Family Housing Scheme (large): Cork County Council, Bundle 2 Social Housing PPP Project
  • Best Family Housing Scheme (small): Cork City Council, Crann Darach, Montenotte
  • [Public Choice Award Winner] Regeneration & Renewal (restoration project): Thurles Lions Trust Housing Association, Stanwix Village, Thurles
  • Regeneration & Renewal (regeneration project): Oaklee, Walkin Street, Kilkenny
  • Leading the Energy Transition: Carbery Housing Association, ‘RedWoLF’ Project
  • Creative Delivery, Collaboration and Supply: Tuath Housing, The Plaza Building, Park West, Dublin
  • Margaret O’Leary Award for Achievement in Community Housing: Vincent Geoghegan (HAIL Housing) and Lilian McKenna (Enniscorthy Housing Association)
  • Notes on the Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council, ‘Woodside’ Enniskerry Road Cost Rental Project: Woodside is Ireland’s first purpose built cost rental development containing 50 cost rental and 105 social homes, which are managed by both Respond and Tuath Housing Associations. Woodside is a unique development that has provided security of tenure for its tenants. Affordability is at the heart of Woodside right from the construction phase through to its management and maintenance. The homes were delivered in the Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council area on land provided by the council, supported by the Housing Agency under the land aggregation scheme. The project is the result of an innovative collaboration between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Housing Agency, Respond and Tuath, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).
  • Notes on the Stanwix Village, Thurles, Regeneration Project: The Stanwix Village is a development of 19 housing units, comprising 14 own-door, one bedroomed independent units and a five-bed community home providing supported accommodation for adults with mental health challenges. Constructed on the site of The Stanwix Home, the development also has a community centre for use by the residents and the wider community. This centre will also provide a base for “The Blue Door”, an initiative of Thurles Lions Club, that provides support for adults who may require someone to talk to in a time of crisis. The Stanwix Village project necessitated the complete refurbishment of the former Stanwix Home, a protected structure of special interest as a unique gothic Alms House constructed in 1889, in addition to the construction of new accommodation. The development provides independent and supported accommodation for the most vulnerable in the Thurles community in a secure, town centre location near churches, medical centres, shops and recreational amenities.