Press Release

Minister Brady launches the Older Persons Strategy of the Respond! Housing Association, Waterford

Áine Brady, T.D., Minister for Older People, today launched the Older Persons Strategy of the Respond! Housing Association.

Respond! is Ireland’s largest not for profit Housing Association which seeks to create a positive future for people by alleviating poverty and creating vibrant, socially integrated communities by providing access to education, childcare, community development programmes, housing and other supports.

Respond! was established in 1982 as a Company limited by guarantee, with charitable status. The first development was built in Waterford in 1982 for older people and in 1984. Respond has built almost 5200 homes nationwide with a further 350 under construction. It has provided homes for families, older persons, the homeless and disabled people.

In 2008 Respond! Housing Association completed an internal survey of residents living in units built using the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS). This scheme generally provides housing for people with special needs, including older people and people with disabilities. This survey highlighted gaps in service provision experienced among Responds! residents in CAS units and, specifically older people. As a result Respond! has completed an Older Persons Strategy. The aim of this is ‘to contribute to improving the quality of life for older residents living on our estates’.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Brady said “Respond aims to create self-supporting and safe communities that are integrated into the wider community and they provide the necessary support and opportunities for their tenants to achieve this goal. The residents are not therefore, purely given a house to live in, they are given an opportunity to be part of a living community and given a sense of belonging which is a fundamental need in us all”.

“The publication of this Strategy is a tangible illustration of the high value with which Respond holds its older residents. The Strategy has 13 Aims, which encompass staff training, estate management, the provision of supports in accessing health and social services and information. The Strategy will guide the work of Respond into the future and ensure that older residents can live in their own homes for as long as possible whilst enjoying a good quality of life. As the Minister who is currently responsible for developing the Government’s Positive Ageing Strategy, I welcome this particular initiative and will continue to work closely with community organisations such as Respond! in improving the lives of older people”.