THE Peter McVerry Trust last year worked with 59 people in Cork city and county in what was the first full year of the charity operating in the Cork region, its annual report found.
The national housing and homeless charity published its annual report for 2020 today, which showed that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity had a successful year in terms of housing development and also in progressing people into housing.
The charity said that almost half of its social housing tenancies at the end of 2020 were Housing First tenancies.
The CEO of the charity, Pat Doyle, said: “Last year was by far and away the best year we have experienced in terms of housing delivery and progressing people into housing.
“Overall, we helped 1,300 people secure a new home and directly delivered 150 social housing units in 2020.
“This included housing right across the country in key areas such as Dublin and Kildare but also in new areas such as Cork, Galway, Kerry, and Wexford.”
“The delivery of these new homes came about not just because of greater availability of apartments due to the collapse of the Airbnb market, but because of more success in tackling long-term vacant homes through schemes like the repair and leasing scheme where, for example, we worked to deliver the first two units under that scheme in Cork city last year.
“Our largest single scheme to date in Cork is in Youghal, where last year we secured 11 social housing units when working with a property owner to reuse a block of apartments vacant since 2008.”
Having worked with 59 people across Cork city and county last year, the charity is due to open a new regional office in Cork City and has ambitious plans to deliver more social housing units.
The charity, which was founded by Fr Peter McVerry in 1983, is now active in 28 of the 31 local authority areas across the country and the annual report found that the charity worked with over 7,800 individuals last year.
“Last year was an incredibly challenging one for everyone in society. As a result of Covid-19, Peter McVerry Trust faced numerous unforeseen challenges.
“Our experience of responding quickly and effectively to emergency situations ensured we mobilised rapidly to put in place measures to protect vulnerable people across our services and housing during the pandemic. We also adapted our service delivery to offer continued supports to people in need,” Mr Doyle said.