A resident of the Leeside Apartments has described its sale to the Cluid Housing Association as a “major relief”.
Clúid purchased the 78-unit Leeside Apartments complex in Cork city, in conjunction with Cork City Council, from an investment company for €20m and they will be used for social housing and for rent to the private sector.
The deal removes the threat of eviction from existing tenants, while around 50 vacant units will be made available for social housing which will be filled from the social housing list.
Resident Aimee O’Riordan said:
“It’s amazing, I’m still trying to get my head around it.” “It’s a major relief.
“It’s a positive outcome that none of us were expecting,” she added.
“All of the hard work has really paid off.”
Ms O’Riordan revealed that a new lease signed with Lugus last year forced residents to move to different apartments within the building and contained a non disclosure agreement to prevent them speaking about it.
“If we talked about the move, we’d be in breach of the contract and could be evicted,” she told The Echo.
“It’s amazing now to be able to put the key in the front door now and to be able to say this is our home.
“The lease with Lugus, which was 20 pages long, said you need to clean the windows but don’t touch the doors or walls so it was living on the edge,” she added.
“It’s nice now that all that worry is gone and it’s all positive from here on in.”
Ms O’Riordan said she hopes to see measures brought in to ensure that nothing like this can happen to anyone in the future.
“The City Council were involved in facilitating the purchase and it was good that they kept an open mind and looked for a solution rather than just turning a blind eye like much of the government and Minister for Housing.
“In fairness to City Hall, they were working on this with us in mind.
“They were of the opinion that if someone was to buy the building, we should be able to stay,” she added.
“No one wanted to inflict another eviction on us and they made sure that happened.”
At present, there are six HAP tenants in situ and a further six private tenants who will remain as clients of Clúid.
The agency’s new business manager James O’Halloran said that the purchase represents a major milestone for the agency.
"These units are finished to the highest standard and will provide people in Cork City with long-term, secure homes.
"Clúid has worked with Cork City Council to deliver these units in a matter of months and we hope to begin the process of filling the units next week.
Clúid is awaiting planning permission for 112 units in Blackpool on the city's northside and is working with Cork City Council and developers to identify additional sites.
Clúid is financing the development of the Leeside units through a combination of a Capital Advance and Availability Payment from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and a loan facility with the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).
Cork City Council will act as a conduit for the departmental funding.
The rent on the units will be based on Cork City Council's rent policy and the council will retain full nomination rights on the properties.