CORK Simon Community has confirmed that it is lodging a planning application for a new residential development at a site at Alfred Street/Railway Street at the location of the former Saab car dealership.
The proposed Railway Street development will comprise 78 residential housing units — 29 large studio apartments, 43 one-bed units and six two-bed units.
A spokesperson for Cork Simon Community said the overall development will involve the construction of two blocks, one with eight storeys facing on to Alfred Street and the other with 10 storeys facing on to Railway Street.
The spokesperson added: “Cork Simon is committed to a housing-led approach to homelessness. This means offering people affordable housing at the earliest possible opportunity, without unnecessary barriers, together with any necessary support in line with a tenant’s wishes and needs.
“The proposed Railway Street development aligns seamlessly with Cork Simon’s focus on creating a permanent solution to the homelessness crisis. Some of the residents who will occupy the apartments will be leaving homelessness and some of them have never been homeless but have a housing need.”
Catriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners said the proposed development will give people “a bit of hope”.
“It is brilliant and badly needed. It is a huge step in the right direction. Cork Simon deserve a lot of praise. It is fantastic news,” she said.
“It brings hope. This will give people the bit between the teeth. It is great news for people who have been waiting a long time for accommodation. It will give people a bit of hope and a chance,” she added.
Ms Twomey said that the situation in Cork is “very concerning”.
“The current situation is awful. We are losing far too many people unfortunately... We would lose a lot more people if something positive wasn’t coming down the line.
“We need to drive this project and the treatment centres that are needed immediately. We also need to address the growing mental health needs urgently.”