Taoiseach Micheál Martin in Castlefen at the opening of 29 new houses
Taoiseach Micheál Martin visited Castlefen, Sallins on Friday May 13 for the opening of 29 new one and two-bed social houses. The Taoiseach addressed the current residents of the Castlefen area and was joined by Mayor of Kildare Naoise Ó Cearúil and chairman of the board for Tuath Housing Daragh O’Sullivan.
Taoiseach Martin commented: “Modern, safe and secure homes such as the ones delivered here at Castlefen are instrumental in fostering sustainable communities. I hope the security and comfort that they provide, backed by the support of Tuath, Kildare County Council and an active resident’s association, will continue to make this a vibrant and caring place to live for all residents, new and old. Housing is the number one priority in my view, that is why I am delighted to be here to witness firsthand the end result of collaboration between AHBs, local authorities and our financial institutions, working together with the government for our collective goal of providing more homes for those who need them.”
Also in attendance for the opening were members of the residents association as well as local people who came to support the new development. Chairman of the residents’ association for Castlefen John McLoughlin said: “This is huge for the area. I have been living here for 20 years and this is a massive step forward for us. This is what we have been trying to achieve and with the positivity we have from the people here we hope we can continue to develop the area for all of our members.
“We are delighted to be part of this because there is a housing crisis in this country and it’s great that we can play some little part in making that better. In addition to that, when those new residents come in we want to immediately welcome them and we are producing a booklet of information about the area so that they can feel they can settle in here very easily.”
The new estate was built as part of the government’s Housing for All scheme and it is also the first age-friendly housing estate in the country meaning that the homes are suitable for people of all ages. This is determined by key factors such as level access and connection to the outdoors. The homes are also integrated into the neighbourhood and are capable of incorporating assistive technology to support ageing in place.
Mr McLoughlin said of the age-friendly changes: “The changes were made following a walkability audit done by the residents themselves and because of that funding was made available to make improvements. Tuath housing has made this estate age-friendly and we want to buy into that going forward. Our goal now is to source funding for that and a purpose built community centre.”
The project was carried out by Kildare County Council in partnership with Tuath Housing, a non-profit housing association and this project was the first housing construction done by the company on council land. Tuath Housing have also delivered 520 homes across Kildare to date with plans for significantly more.
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