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Representation in Ireland

EU supported housing project in West Cork provides local people with a place to call home

When holiday home developments started pricing local families out of the housing market in the picturesque fishing village of Baltimore in west Cork, financing from the European Investment Bank came to the aid of residents.

To make housing more affordable for young people and families, local residents got together in 2001 and set up the Carbery Housing Association (CHA), a non-profit company with Approved Housing Body status.

According to CHA Chairperson José Ospina, the need was clear:

“Young people and those working in local enterprises could not afford to rent or buy”.

Carbery Housing Association offers an alternative to social housing provided by Cork County Council. However, housing bodies such as CHA are loan-funded and do not receive any funding from grants. This made it difficult for CHA to access public land and gain public authority funding, José explained.

Funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) via Ireland’s Housing Finance Agency came to the rescue.

To date, twenty-one homes have been purchased under the scheme, offering local families a home for life at an affordable price, or council-rate equivalent. EIB financing covered 60% of their purchase cost with the remainder provided by Cork County Council.

Additional EU funding has also enabled Carbery Housing Association to ensure each family lives in a home that uses high-quality and sustainable electricity.

As a partner in the EU Interreg NWE funded RED WoLF Project (Rethink Electricity Distribution Without Low Following), Carbery Housing Association has installed innovative energy systems in four of their properties.

A “smart” controller decides when electricity is taken from the grid, shifting demand to off-peak times and cutting bills in the process.

Speaking about Carbery’s participation in the RED WoLF project, José said:

“The assistance of this EU project helped us enormously to provide a safety net for families because we look after all repairs to the home, including electricity, in an environmentally friendly way”.

More information

Carbery Housing Association

EU Interreg North-West Europe NWE funded RED WoLF Project

Housing Finance Agency of Ireland

European Investment Bank - Social and Affordable Housing