Family hub centres to open at 19 sites in Dublin
Half the hubs will be in former hotels and B&Bs and will have capacity for 518 families in total
The largest hub, with 87 privately operated family rooms, will be opened at the Townhouse B&B on Gardiner Street in the city centre next month.
Another 13 “family hub” emergency accommodation centres are intended to open in Dublin this year on top of the six already operating.
The 19 facilities will be able to cater for 80 per cent of the homeless families currently living in hotels and B&B accommodation in Dublin.
The facilities, which have been leased for five years, are mostly in the Dublin City Council area, with one each in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown and South Dublin and two in Fingal.
Just under half the hubs will be existing hotels and B&Bs. The others will include buildings owned by religious institutions, large family houses and former industrial premises.
It emerged last May that nine buildings were being leased by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive with capacity to accommodate about half the families living in hotels. Former minister for housing Simon Coveney had set a deadline of July 1st to end the use of commercial hotels for homeless families. The deadline was not met.
At the end of May, 647 families were living in commercial hotels or B&Bs. The 19 facilities will have capacity for 518 families and will be opened on a phased basis by the end of the year.
Six have already come into operation. The first one, with 42 spaces, was opened by Respond Housing at High Park in Drumcondra last December.
More recently a 50-space hub has opened at the Mater Dei Institute, on Clonliffe Road, following the move of the institute’s students to St Patrick’s teacher training college in Drumcondra. The facility will be run by Crosscare, a social services agency of the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin.
In the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council area, a hub is being run by an unnamed private operator at Millmount, Dundrum with 12 spaces. In Fingal the Peter McVerry Trust is running a hub for six families in Swords and will open another one in September on Malahide Road for seven families.
The two other hubs which have already opened are former hotels; one is the Bram Stoker Hotel on the seafront in Clontarf which has 25 family spaces, the other is the Viking Lodge in Francis Street in the Liberties which has 26 family rooms. Both are operated by private companies.
The largest hub, with 87 privately operated family rooms, will be opened at the Townhouse B&B on Gardiner Street in the city centre next month. The same month the Peter McVerry Trust will open another small hub, with four family units in Rialto, and Respond will open a 13-unit family hub at a former B&B at St Lawrence’s Road, Clontarf.
Several hubs will open in September including two Salvation Army-run facilities at industrial estates - the former Bargaintown building in the Greencastle Parade industrial estate in Coolock with 28 spaces and a former Prison Service building in Crumlin with 24 spaces.
Hubs will also open in September at Lynam’s Hotel, O’Connell Street (45 spaces), the Sunnybank Hotel, Glasnevin (26), and the Abberley Hotel in Tallaght (40), all privately run.
Later in the year the Sons of the Divine Providence, will run a hub at a former boys home in Ballyfermot with 13 spaces. Hubs will also be opened at My Place B&B in Gardiner Street (40 spaces), at an unnamed facility on Kimmage Road in Dublin 12 (eight), and above O’Shea’s Pub on Merchant’s Quay (22).
In addition to bedrooms the hubs will have homework and play spaces, laundry, cooking and dining facilities.