A new housing association against exclusion in Ireland (1997)

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This text has been made available in electronic format by the 
International Co-operative Alliance
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November 1997

The Novas-Ouvertures Group of voluntary organisations is proposing
the setting up of a new Housing Association in the Republic of Ireland. 
This Association will be locally based and controlled, but able to 
tap into the expertise and resources of other Group members in the 
finding of innovative solutions to the housing needs of excluded 
groups in society, e.g. young single homeless, single parents,  
Travellers, and those with special needs. The Association, which 
will be based in Co. Cork, is in the process of registration. 
It will be managed by a Committee of experienced and committed 
local people.

Tir an Droichead, as the new Irish Association is provisionally 
named will work closely with Local Authorities in identifying gaps 
in current provision and existing needs. Unlike traditional housing 
providers, the new Association will not stop at providing a roof, 
but will aim to create opportunities for training, employment and 
integration of those who use its services. 

Droichead will collaborate with other social economy organisations 
and support agencies in the development of integrated projects that 
can provide both housing, training and employment opportunities. 
This will be achieved by creating opportunities for vocational 
training, job creation and enterprise and tapping into support 
provided by national programmes and the European Commission.

The Association will also ensure that developments are carried out 
with attention to ecological issues, such as energy efficiency and 
ease of maintenance,  seeking to create sustainability and protect 
the environment.

Droichead will work closely with other Group members in the development 
of trans-national projects, and with agencies and organisations outside 
the Group (including the CECOP and REVES networks) in the promotion of  
its common aims.

The Novas-Ouvertures Group is also in the process of registration,  
and so far has members in England (Bridge Housing Association and 
Arlington Care Association),  Scotland (Rowan Alba Association) and 
Ulster (Lee Hestia Association).  These  Associations are already 
active within the areas of homelessness, resettlement and community 
support, Travellers' housing, specialist dependency services working 
with alcohol, drug, mental health related housing.

Novas-Ouvertures is the first network of housing and care service 
providers aiming to create training and employment opportunities and 
working at a trans-national level. Its members have autonomous committees and financing
but operate within a common and mutually complimentary European strategy.  The Group is
interesting in broadening its membership to other European organisations that might share
its aims and objectives, as well as entering into trans-national partnership with other
agencies with similar aims.

For information contact:

Jose Ospina,
Services Development Manager,
Tir na Droichead,
The Wooden House,
Rossnagoose, Skibbereen, 
Co. Cork.

Tel. (+353) 28 21890
Fax. (+353) 28 21897