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EU investment in regeneration and retrofitting of social housing can help tackle unemployment here, a housing conference in Dublin was told this week.

Any funding from the EU would have the benefit of reducing fuel poverty and improve living conditions for many tenants of older social housing schemes around the country, the experts said.

Over 150 delegates from 15 members states came together at the event in the Grand Hotel, Malahide.

Among the topics discussed on the day the delegates looked at new and innovative ways of funding to support the energy renovation of social housing.

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) and NABCO, the co-operative housing federation, organised the event ,which was attended by the Minister for Housing, Jan O'Sullivan

Ms O'Sullivan (left) singled out the key role that will be played by voluntary and co-operative housing bodies.

The minister highlighted major energy savings schemes such as the refurbishment of Killarney Court in Dublin's north inner city by Cluid Housing Association and the new co-operative housing development at Avondale Park, in Mulhuddart, in north-west Dublin. The Mulhuddart development features solar panels the length of one-and-a-half tennis courts.