AN unfinished development in Carrigtwohill which had lain vacant for 17 years has been transformed to provide 95 social housing units.
The Cascade apartment complex was officially opened yesterday by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien and the Mayor of the County of Cork Danny Collins.
The new homes, all of which are two-bed apartments, were delivered by Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI), and is the largest development built in Munster so far this year by any approved housing body.
Speaking at the launch of the new homes, the minister commended Cork County Council and CHI for delivering the development which the State invested almost €30m in.
CHI chairman Pearse O’Shiel said the development breathes new life into a site that had become a blight on the landscape in Carrigtwohill.
“Since we took on this project, it’s really been three years, so it’s been a fairly extended period of time but the building itself was derelict for about 17 years.
“It was one of these Celtic Tiger victims, if you like.
“The building was abandoned and was in effect a kind of an eyesore and a location for antisocial behaviour and Co-operative Housing Ireland identified it as a project that could be taken on and could be successfully brought to the state it’s in now,” Mr O’Shiel said.
“It’s quite a transformation. It’s good news and a real achievement I would say for Co-operative Housing Ireland.”
The launch came as CHI announced plans for a record-breaking year of housing delivery across the country.
“The last few years have been a particularly challenging time for the housing sector, including Co-operative Housing Ireland,” Mr O’Shiel said.
“The impact of uncontrollable delays in construction resulted in us missing our 2022 target as the residual impact of the pandemic was surpassed by the war in Ukraine.
“While construction delays have continued into early 2023, CHI’s ambitious aim is to deliver a record year for the organisation, with more than 700 homes.
“It is our hope that these truly affordable homes will help to alleviate housing need across the country.
“Celebrating days like this in Carrigtwohill is important, it reminds us of what we can do when we work together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the County Mayor said the launch of the new development marked a “great day for Cork County Council, a great day for Carrigtwohill… and a great day for CHI”.
“The completion of this unfinished development in Carrigtwohill has helped remediate a derelict site and created high-quality homes for 95 new households,” Mr Collins continued.
Speaking to The Echo, one of the new tenants, Tanya O’Connell, who moved in about five weeks ago, said the new home has made a “huge difference” to her and her daughter’s lives.
“It makes a huge difference because I have a daughter who has special needs and my last place wasn’t suitable for suitable for her bed.
“I got an internal transfer through CHI, I was very lucky. They’re very good to deal with,” Ms O’Connell said.
“I love it,” she said of her new home.
“The neighbours are very nice and the place itself is fabulous. We’re on the ground floor, so it makes a huge difference for both myself and my daughter’s needs.”
Cascade was delivered in partnership with the Cork County Council, Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Housing Agency and Marlet Property Group.