Monday 19 August 2019

Charity's free home lease fund attracts six offers of help

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Alan O'Keeffe

Six prospective benefactors have expressed interest in leasing properties free of charge to Dublin Simon Community to house the homeless.

They responded to a public appeal by the charity for properties to provide affordable housing to people to help them work their way out their difficulties.

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The six people approached Dublin Simon after it set up the Simon Social Impact Fund to encourage wealthy individuals and families to make an impact in the current housing crisis.

Sam McGuinness, chief executive of Dublin Simon, said a benefactor can buy a property and lease it to the charity for 10 to 15 years rent-free, with a break clause after five to 10 years, after which full property use reverts to the benefactor.

"Dublin Simon Community ensures that suitable residents are found and we provide the service delivery, housing management and repairs and maintenance to keep the properties in good condition during the leased period.

"Simon manages all rental income and uses surplus funds to acquire additional housing stock," he said.

Earlier, an anonymous benefactor leased eight adjoining two-bedroom terraces houses in Dublin 8 to Dublin Simon under the new fund scheme.

These eight homes resulted in 16 accommodation units and have proved a great success, he said.

"Sixteen men and women are living there at any one time. It is providing individuals with the opportunity over a two-year period to develop their employability prospects, improve their life and social skills and prepare for living independently," he said.

"Residents receive comprehensive support to address any barriers to moving out of homelessness.

"Since the service first opened, two thirds of residents have gone back to education, half have returned to employment and two people have already moved on to independent living. It is making a life-changing impact on the people we serve."

Sunday Independent

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