DUNMANWAY has been chosen as a destination for a national ‘demonstrator site’ to develop a new and innovative model of housing for older persons.
Minister for Older People Jim Daly has confirmed this week that Cork County Council has appointed Clúid Housing as its partner to develop a ‘state-of-the-art housing for the elderly’ project, with onsite supports and modern design and facilities which could be copied across the country.
The multi-million euro project will be one of the first of its kind in the country.
Deputy Daly says he has been seeking government support for a new model of housing for older persons.
‘Currently there are only two options available to people as they age, one is at home, and the other is in a nursing home. We must develop a new option for people to move to as they grow old, and all that means is a smaller house, a smaller garden, well designed to cater for all possibilities such as wheelchairs, aids, etc, and crucially that on-call support and assistance is available should any resident need to call on it for any reason,’ he told The Southern Star.
Mr Daly says he is also in on-going consultation with the local Meals on Wheels group and it is hoped that a new service can be incorporated on the site of this project. ‘We have to aim to provide so much more than just bricks and mortar,’ he said.
He added: ‘We must think big and get this right, location is key, we must ensure residents can walk to a shop, church and social centre. If we design houses for the young we exclude the old. If we design houses for the old, we design for everyone.
‘We have become very successful as a nation at adding years to life, the challenge now is to add life to those years,’ he told The Southern Star.
He said he was delighted that the site has been secured for development of a demonstrator site at Bantry Road in the town.
‘I want to sincerely thank Cork County Council for their unwavering support and efforts with getting agreement for this project to proceed. In partnership with the many stakeholders we will now move ahead and work with Clúid, as the lead agent to design, develop, and manage this project,’ he said.
The next stage of the plan is for design and planning to commence in January 2019, with the aim of having a planning application submitted by June.
Tenders to issue then, and construction to commence in early 2020.
‘As this project takes a very bespoke and innovative approach to planning for our aging community it may take slightly longer thank the normal standard approach, however the long term benefits will far surpass the short-term wait,’ said Minister Daly.