Update: Habitat families in Inchicore
On a cold winter’s night, Fiona Corcoran and her two daughters contently watch TV by the fire in their home on Emmet Road, Inchicore. Next door, 2-year-old Alex Greene plays in her brightly painted pink bedroom.
There’s nothing unusual about either scene, but for both families these activities were unimaginable only a few months ago.
The Corcoran and Clail-Greene families recently became first time homeowners through Habitat Ireland’s local programme. Previously, they lived in small Dublin City Council flats in the inner city.
Alex Greene slept in the same room as her parents and four-year-old brother, Nathan. Fiona’s daughters, Sarah (23) and Ellie (21), shared the same room since they were little girls.
“We are very happy, we still can’t believe it,” says Fiona. “We are still getting used to the space.”
Their new homes were previously derelict Dublin City Council houses which were the scene of anti-social behaviour and illegal dumping. Habitat Ireland partnered with the Council to renovate the houses with the help of trade professionals and some 260 volunteers. The families also contributed to the renovation through “sweat equity” and are paying off a small mortgage on their new home.
“It instilled a sense of pride knowing that we contributed to it,” says Alex’s mum, Jennifer, about working onsite.
The initiative provided the families with a “hand-up” to create a brighter future. The extra space and sense of security has reduced their stress levels and their overall quality of life has improved.
As the families settle into their new homes, local TD, Deputy Catherine Byrne, reflects on the project:
“Derelict buildings are always a focal point for problems in the area,” she says. “Now the properties have permanent residents and new life has been brought into the community.”
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