Positive steps for Housing Provision in County Laois


The sun shone brightly on Monday 15th May last, when Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD visited the county to officially open 4 social housing schemes in the presence of Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr. Thomasina Connell, Chief Executive John Mulholland and elected representatives and guests.

The four housing developments, located in Ballylinan, Ballyroan, Durrow and Portlaoise, comprise in total 108 new social housing units and were constructed both directly by Laois County Council and by Approved Housing Bodies supported by the local authority.

The Minister visited Ballylinan first, officially opening a development of 21 social housing units at Doirin Alainn, for North and East Housing Association. The scheme was provided in association with Laois County Council and comprises 14 three-bedroom semi-detached houses and 7 two-bedroom terraced houses, all delivered between 2020 and 2022. These ‘A’ rated homes were funded by the Dept of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) and loan finance was secured by NEHA from the Housing Finance Agency.

The developer and builder is JJ Wall of De Bhal Construction and the design team was led by Jason Redmond and Associates.

North and East Housing Association CEO, Vincent Keenan spoke of the high-quality design and build for tenants to enjoy a safe secure home in a beautiful community setting.

Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council welcomed Minister O’Brien to Co. Laois and spoke of the positive effects of social housing delivery across the county.

Then it was on to Ballyroan, where the Minister was greeted by the residents of Gleann na Glaise and he officially opened Phase 2 of the scheme, comprising 10 3-bedroom houses. This scheme was a constructed by Laois County Council under the Dept of Housing Social Housing Investment Programme (SHIP).

The design team for the scheme was O’Brien Finucane Architects represented on the day by Ciaran O’Brien and construction was by Breencore Ltd, represented by Declan Breen.

The Minister spoke of the quality of the work carried out by developer Breencore Ltd and the very strong pipeline in Laois for social housing. He wished the residents the best of luck in the beautiful village of Ballyroan in their new homes for life.

Chief Executive, John Mulholland congratulated the developer and design team on delivering such high quality homes for the residents and

The Minister was then welcomed by residents at Sean Doire housing scheme in Durrow, where he officially opened Phase 2 of the development comprising 22 two- and three-bedroom houses. The scheme was constructed by Laois County Council under the Dept of Housing’s SHIP Fund, designed by Van Dijk Architects and constructed under contract by K & J Townmore Ltd.

The Minister spoke of the quality of social housing produced in Laois and praised the design team and builder for their impeccable work. He wished the 22 new households the very best in their new homes.

Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr. Thomasina Connell congratulated the residents on their beautiful homes and stated how proud she is of the healthy pipeline for social housing that will benefit so many families and individuals across the county over the course of the Housing for All programme. She praised the work of the Chief Executive and the Council’s Housing Team in this regard.

Finally, the Minister officially opened 55 social housing units at Roselawn and The Maltings developments in Portlaoise. Both developments are owned and managed by Cluid Housing. Roselawn comprises 15 new three-bedroom houses and completes a pre-existing estate in Portlaoise.

The Maltings is a new age-friendly social housing scheme owned and managed by Cluid Housing comprising 40 two-bedroom apartments. The scheme is managed by Clann, the age friendly arm of Cluid Housing, offering social housing accommodation to those eligible aged 55 and over. The scheme also benefits from a common room which will host activities and visits from local support services.

The scheme is constructed within a development, which when complete, will host 4 apartment blocks and a private nursing home. Developer and builder was ONS Developments, design was by Jason Redmond & Associates.

The Minister was greeted by some local residents who gave him their experience of living in their new homes and its benefits.

Units in all four schemes are allocated either directly, or by nomination to an Approved Housing Body, to applicants on Laois County Council’s Social Housing List.

Cathaoirleach, Cllr Thomasina Connell thanked the Minister for his attendance at all four locations and praised all those who have worked to bring these new, high-quality, ‘A’ rated homes to people in Laois. She spoke of the positive impact of the Council’s social housing programme which she added ‘extends far beyond providing roofs over people’s head. It has breathed new life into our communities, revitalizing our towns and villages and creating a strong sense of belonging’. She wished all the tenants in these schemes a happy and healthy life in their forever homes.

Laois County Council has delivered over 500 social homes to citizens through various means over the past two years and is set to deliver three times its target for social new build homes across the county in 2023 under the Housing for All programme, which continues to 2026.

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