Housing and homeless charity Peter McVerry Trust has launched a new strategic plan which will see the charity deliver 1,200 new social housing units before the end of 2025 – with key increases in Cork and Kerry, in particular.
The strategic plan was launched today by Taoiseach, Micheál Martin at the charity’s new southern regional office on North Main Street where the charity has also secured five new one-bedroom apartments.
As part of the plan the charity aims to grow its current housing portfolio of 54 units in Cork and Kerry to over 200 by the end of next year.
One particular focus of the strategic plan is the delivery of an increased number of one-bed units – which the Taoiseach said is crucial.
“I am particularly impressed by the volume of one-bedroom homes that Peter McVerry Trust intends to deliver, as we know this is crucial for the successful delivery of important programmes such as Housing First,” Mr Martin said.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said the plan sets ambitious targets to significantly increase the delivery of new homes and also ensures that the organisation remains “well governed, innovative and delivering each and every day for those on the margins of Irish society”.
Mr Doyle said the greatest number of homes will be in key areas such as Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway.
“In the southern region of Cork and Kerry we have 54 homes at present and a pipeline of a further 179 so we are hoping that by the end of next year we will have over 230 social housing units across Cork City, County Cork and Kerry.
“Of the units we have planned 70 percent of these are one bedroom apartments spread across multiple small scale developments,” he said.
If the charity is successful in delivering its target, Peter McVerry Trust will become a leading voluntary provider of one-bedroom social housing units in the State over the next five years, Mr Doyle said.
“This is very important for the people we work with and the wider homeless population as the vast majority of homes needed to tackle homelessness are one-bedroom homes,” he said.
Speaking at the launch, founder of the charity Fr Peter McVerry spoke about the human impact of the delivery of new homes.
“We’re not going to open any more hostels.
“Hostels are not a solution to homelessness.
“Hostels simply get people off the streets, which is important, but it’s not a solution to homelessness.
“One of the great job satisfactions in this work is seeing the face on a homeless person who moves into their apartment for the first time.
“To see the smile and the disbelief on their face that this is now for them – it’s like a dream come true and it takes them a while to really become aware of the fact that it really is for them,” he said.