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Helm Housing July 2010
 Tuesday 26th October 2010 10:38am



Ireland's first private-leasing scheme for social housing undertaken by a housing association was launched on the 30th June by the Minister for Housing & Local Services, Michael Finneran TD in Athy, Co Kildare. It was a double celebration for Helm on its tenth birthday in the Republic of Ireland.

Clonmullion Retirement Village comprises 50 quality homes for older and disabled people arranged around a communal recreational facility with an onsite caretaker and a nursing home. Over two thirds of the finished development had lain empty for the past two years. The private leasing arrangement with Helm now means these units will be used for social housing. Minister Finneran TD said the use of the Clonmullion Retirement Village for social housing would have "a hugely positive impact locally" as it would increase the availability of high-quality accommodation for elderly persons, as well as reducing waiting lists for social housing in the county.

According to Helm's chairperson Marian Jennings: "Private leasing recognises the reality of the times we live in, and the retrenchment in the house construction sector that has left a stock of high-quality housing stranded in a stalled market. Some of this stock is very suited to meeting the social housing needs of our communities. Leasing does not need to be a lesser alternative to more traditionally provided social housing. Lease agreements can be reached with stakeholders, including the developer, bank and housing authority that ensures security and long-term sustainability for tenants. This has been achieved at Clonmullion with a long-term lease and an option of outright purchase of the properties at a fair price before lease end.'' Helm worked closely with Athy Town Council, Kildare County Council, the DOEHLG, the Housing & Sustainable Communities Agency and Raggett Homes to reach agreement on a lease deal.



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Paddy Raggett Homes Ltd. Registered Office: Grovine, Waterford Road, Co. Kilkenny. Registered in Ireland: Registered No. 207809
Paddy Raggett Homes (Thurles) Ltd. Registered Office: Grovine, Waterford Road, Co. Kilkenny. Registered in Ireland: Registered No. 277955