Minister of State for Training and Skills, John Halligan TD last week officially launched Focus Ireland’s redevelopment of Grange Cohen estate, Co. Waterford. The redevelopment has involved a complete energy-efficiency retro-fit of the Grange Cohen estate, and was done using the SEAI Community Fund, as well as with support from Bord Gáis Energy, who were the charity’s energy partners during the redevelopment. The redevelopment includes new doors and windows, cavity insulation, new air-to-water heat pumps, LED lighting and the installation of solid fuel stoves in all 68 Units. Lighting and heating upgrades were also carried out in the crèche and office areas of the Grange Cohen estate.
Speaking at the launch of the redevelopment, Minister Halligan said: “Focus Ireland do incredible work in Waterford and throughout Ireland providing support and shelter for some of the most vulnerable in society. The Grange Cohen estate has come a long way over the past 20 years, and I’m delighted to welcome the steps Focus Ireland has taken to provide warm, comfortable, energy-efficient accommodation for residents.”
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “During 2019, we finished a complete energy-efficiency retro-fit of our estate in Grange Cohen using the SEAI Community Fund. We hope that the redevelopment will go a long way improving our resident’s comfort, as well as improving the energy efficiency of the estate”
He continued: “This redevelopment has not only had a positive impact on our residents’ comfort and utility costs but also led to an increased pride in the estate. The work at Grange Cohen has been made possible through our partnership work with Waterford City and County Council who, from the outset, have been great partners. Nearly 20 years ago this land was provided to Focus Ireland and the council has always been very supportive in providing funding and support during this time.”
Waterford and Southeast homeless figures
The latest homeless figures from the Department of Housing (August 2019) show there are currently 112 adults in emergency accommodations in Waterford and 57 children who are homeless in the Southeast. There are also 170 men and 96 women who are without a home in the region (Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford) with 25 to 44 year olds who are the most at risk age group: 136 adults homeless.
Grange Cohan was built in on a 5.3 acer site donated to Focus Ireland by the local authority in the year 2000. The first phase was built on three acers with a community centre and 52 units – a mix of one, two, and three bed units. The next phase was finished in 2006 with a further 16 units comprising of 2×1 beds and 12 x 2 beds, this further supported the need for supported family accommodation for the City. Focus Ireland Waterford support both long term and transitional customers in the city and county including families, single people and young people exiting care. The charity has been involved in supporting housing across the Waterford City with 120 units in a mix of blocks across the city.
On a national level Focus Ireland helped over 500 families to secure a home last year and to escape the nightmare of being homeless. Focus Ireland now provides 1,200 homes around the country.