23 July 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has launched a new five-year strategic plan which will see the charity deliver 1,200 new social housing units before the end of 2025. 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.
The strategic plan was launched by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD at the charity’s new southern regional office at 88-89 North Main Street, Cork, where the charity has also secured 5 new one-bedroom apartments.
Commenting on the plan the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said “I am delighted to launch Peter McVerry Trust’s strategic plan for 2021-2025 and open their new regional office in Cork. The charity is a valued partner in the Government’s efforts to tackle homelessness and the bold targets they have set out today will be to strengthen the ongoing efforts to tackle the issue of homelessness in Cork and right across the country. 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.”
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We are delighted to launch our strategic plan for 2021-2025 today with An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher. This plan sets ambitious targets to significantly grow our 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.”
“This plan will see the Peter McVerry Trust deliver homes on a nationwide basis with the greatest number of homes to be delivered in key areas such as Dublin, Cork, 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% of these are one bedroom apartments spread across multiple small scale developments.”
“In particular the plan sees Peter McVerry Trust set the largest target yet by an AHB for homes through the Housing First model in Ireland as we set out to deliver 600 additional Housing First units by the end of 2025. We have given commitments to Cork City, Cork County and Kerry to make our homes available for local Housing First programmes. In addition to those homes we are also going to provide a further 200 homes for care leavers under the CAS for Care system and we will provide a further 400 homes to other homeless individuals, couples and families. This will bring to 2,000 the number of homes and keys to the doors we have been able to provide nationally.”
“Our goal here is to ensure we offer as many sustainable housing pathways for people out of homelessness as we can. If we are successful in delivering our target we will become a leading voluntary provider of one-bedroom social housing units in the State over the next 5 years. 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.”
Building on Core Services
Mr Doyle said that growing the charity’s housing provision will continue to go hand in hand with delivery of its traditional services and supports.
“The strategic plan is about ensuring that as an organisation we remain agile, innovative and most importantly delivering on our ethos and the needs of the people with whom we work. We will continue to respond as best we can by delivering a range of services and supports in the areas of homelessness, addiction, Under 18s residential care and education and employment. We are working closely with key stakeholders in all those areas to identify new initiatives that can respond to current or future needs.”
Mr Doyle said the Strategic Plan would only be successfully delivered through a partnership approach. “While Peter McVerry Trust may secure some of the headlines for our work all that we do is enabled and supported by the State, Department of Housing and other Government Departments and various State Agencies as well as Peter McVerry Trust’s own donors and supporters. At the outset of this new plan I want to acknowledge all those bodies and individuals who work with us to achieve our joint objectives.”
Peter McVerry Trust’s strategic plan 2021-2025 is the charity’s fourth strategic plan to date. The new plan sets out 8 high level objectives, 30 key drivers and 52 outcomes. The charity is now active in 28 of Ireland’s 31 local authorities.