Friday 6 December 2019

Area and residents enjoying a new lease of life

President Michael D Higgins with residents, from left, Lisa, Ellen and Winnie Collins
President Michael D Higgins with residents, from left, Lisa, Ellen and Winnie Collins
Residents Catherine and Callum McNulty in their new apartment
President Michael D Higgins with resident, Caroline McNulty,right, in her new home and Rita Fagan of St. Michael's Regeneration Board
The interior of an apartment at Thornton Heights
Thornton Heights
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THE writing on the wall in Caroline Nulty's new kitchen says it all. "Home is where the heart is."

The mother-of-three proudly showed President Michael D Higgins around the new three-bedroom house she shares with her three children, Daniel (21), Nicole (19) and Callum (7). Mrs Nulty is one of 11 original residents of St Michael's Estate who returned to the regenerated Thornton Heights development in Inchicore, Dublin 8

Two weeks ago, 75 families got the keys of their new homes in the €16.9m development, which is made up of a 75-unit development of 10 terraced houses and 65 apartments, including four disabled units, in four blocks.

However, 19,000 people still remain on Dublin City Council's housing list, while council authorities accept more building is needed to try to contain Dublin's housing crisis.

Mrs Nulty said she was still "in awe" of her new home, but regeneration didn't happen quick enough for her two eldest children who grew up in rented accommodation. She said she was looking forward to her son Callum growing up there.

"It was hard living in St Michael's Estate in the end as people moved out of the blocks and they became derelict. But there was a great sense of community here and an awful lot going on. When I moved to the other house I never made it my own because I knew I was coming back," she said.

Assistant chief executive for Housing and Residential Services with Dublin City Council Dick Brady said the council needed to start significant building.

"We should have done it previously and we need to start immediately, because we are ending up in a position where not only people on the margins are in trouble, but also people just beyond the margins, who would traditionally have been self-sufficient in their accommodation, but are being squeezed out with high rents," Mr Brady said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Nulty said she was looking forward to the development of the remainder of the old St Michael's site for other housing projects. "That's what regeneration is all about. It's for the next generation coming up. You want to leave a legacy, something important for kids," she said.

Irish Independent

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