The regeneration of one of Longford’s oldest estates, St Michael’s Road, is on target to be completed by the end of August.
After 12 months of construction, the street which until recently had been plagued with anti-social behaviour and physical decline, is almost completely transformed. Final works are being carried out on the 37 new and refurbished houses, with some of the revamped houses dating back to the 1800s.
In 2007, the local authority made the decision to transfer the houses to Clúid, a not-for-profit organisation that develops and provides high quality, affordable, rented social housing for people who do not have the resources to buy their own home or pay for private rented housing.
By the late 1990s, the estate, which comprised of 58 houses, was suffering serious decline. Many of the houses were unoccupied and due to the poor condition of these homes and the reputation of the estate it was becoming increasingly difficult to find tenants for the houses.
Following an intensive consultation process with residents of the street and surrounding estates the project received planning permission in May 2010. The project was approved for funding by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government with work beginning in July 2011.
According to Clúid’s Regeneration project manager, Fiona Cormican, the regeneration of St Michael’s Road concentrated on the resident’s advice. “Clúid believes that residents are the key to regeneration because they are the experts on the estate. It is the residents who have lived with the problems for years, the residents understand the problems, and it is the residents who very often have the best answer to the problems.”
The redevelopment consists of 37 new and refurbished houses and is comprised of a mix of one, two and three bed houses, bungalows and duplex apartments, all of which will be finished with an A3 energy rating.
Clúid are now in the process of finding suitable tenants for the houses with the mix of house types suitable for families, single people, older persons and persons with reduced mobility in line with the recommendations of the Department’s plans on sustainable communities.
“With regeneration comes the rebuilding of a new community, bringing new life and activity to an area that has suffered neglect and decay. Regeneration is not just about the bricks and mortar, but the renewal of communities. Regeneration is a lengthy process and not without its challenges, but looking at St Michael’s Road’s dramatic facelift today makes it all worthwhile,” Fiona added.