St Benedict’s Phase 2 scheme provides an additional 8 1 bed units of accommodation for the elderly to the Society’s existing scheme of 37 units. The scheme was funded by Fingal County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government through the Capital Assistance Scheme. The scheme was delivered by the commitment and dedication of the local volunteers of Saint Vincent de Paul St Benedict’s Conference. The units have been delivered to a very high standard completed on time and within budget.
Phase 2 was designed by architect Jerry Hannigan and constructed by Demac construction.
The first phase of St Benedict’s was completed in 2009 designed by Paul Keogh architects and comprises 37 units of housing (31 (1 bed) and 6 (2 bed) units and community facility.
The plot of land on Estuary Road on which St Benedict’s was built was gifted by Josephine Denning. She willed that the land be used for housing older people.
The scheme has been delivered and is managed and maintained through a volunteer led approach supported by on-site Housing Manager. The commitment and dedication of the volunteer St Vincent De Paul board(Conference) is key to the ongoing successful management of both the housing and tenants and is very much the added value element to the housing delivery.
The vision, dedication and work of the local volunteers has realised the delivery of accommodation that can sustain older people and people with disabilities to live in their community independently.
The volunteer led approach has translated into ensuring an effective design solution in the delivery of the scheme and also ensures the ongoing highest standards in the management and maintenance/upkeep of the scheme.
The support provided to tenants through the on-site Housing Manager is vital to ensuring the continuation of tenants independent living – for some tenants without such support they would not be in a position to sustain their tenancies and would be in nursing home care.
The Housing Manager provides day to day support to tenants, advocating on behalf of vulnerable tenants, communicating with other professionals/external agencies on their behalf regarding facilities, services/entitlements(e.g. local authority, community health services etc).
In addition to supporting the Conference in terms of overall scheme management and maintenance the Manager promotes community development /tenant participation in communal activities , organising social activities within the scheme (coffee mornings, book clubs, gardening, fitness classes) creating a sense of community, nurturing individual tenant wellbeing.
The single storey design allows for a wide spectrum of users in line with universal design and life cycle adaptability. Open space is over looked by housing fronts ensuring passive surveillance at all times. Houses are laid out with orientation to maximise sunlight to open space and to allow daylight penetration. Courtyard design lends itself to community interaction , ethos is to encourage friendship and neighbourly relationships through public realm;
The Community Facility built in parallel with the housing units (funded through National Lottery Communal facilities grant in additional to St Vincent De Paul funding contribution)- is an integral part of the scheme and offers tenants a valuable social outlet for social, educational and leisure activities.
Nationally SVP provide 875 housing units which accommodate 961 people.