The Mulvey report identified the need to make Dublin’s North East Inner City a safe, attractive and vibrant living and working environment with opportunities for all to lead full lives. The regeneration of St Mary’s Mansions, completed by Clúid Housing, is the first major regeneration project in the area commissioned after the Mulvey report of 2016.
The €23 million project is the result of a three-year redevelopment plan. Clúid Housing worked in partnership with Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Dublin’s North East Inner City (NEIC), the Housing Finance Agency (HFA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Ganson, and Inner-City Organisations Network (ICON).
Clúid’s vision is a society where everyone has a great place to live. The organisation provides quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities. Clúid is committed to delivering 3,000 new high-quality, affordable homes before the end of 2022.
The redevelopment of St Mary’s Mansions, a flat complex built over 70 years ago by Dublin Corporation, has provided 80 homes for local families and single people. Twenty families are returning to St Mary’s Mansions. The remainder of the homes will see residents come from Dublin City Council’s housing list. A number of the returning families worked together with Clúid on the regeneration. The first step in planning the regeneration was to consult with the residents, to gather their input and incorporate their feedback and requests into the design.
Speaking at the launch of the redevelopment, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said: “Throughout the redevelopment of this housing scheme, Clúid has worked in close collaboration with both the returning residents and Dublin City Council to ensure the project was a success. It is clear to see that these high-quality homes will continue to foster a strong sense of community for generations to come.”
The extensive works on the site included the addition of two new floors. This allowed for the creation of 80 high-quality modern apartments and duplexes. The development also saw the creation of several communal features to help build upon the already existing community spirit in the area. This involves play areas, a community room, socially aware landscaping and a central courtyard to support community activities.
Throughout the redevelopment of this housing scheme, Clúid has worked in close collaboration with both the returning residents and Dublin City Council to ensure the project was a success. It is clear to see that these high-quality homes will continue to foster a strong sense of community for generations to come.
— Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD
One of the returning residents, Charlene Howe, says: “It was really important being on board from day one for the first meeting with Clúid. With the tenants being involved, we had our say.”
Charlene grew up in St Mary’s Mansions and was involved at the planning stage. “There are 20 families coming back and lots of new people as well from around the area. We were involved in the planning; we had an input into the whole thing. It was really good, stuff we asked for was done, they were very fair. I have a little boy that is wheelchair bound so a shower was put in especially for him. I have to say, Clúid has done a really good job. It’s beautiful.”
The design for the redevelopment was focused on building upon the sense of community in the area and Charlene, along with a number of other residents, worked with Clúid to ensure this. Charlene commented on what it was like to grow up in St Mary’s Mansions. “Neighbours were like family here and they really looked out for each other’s children, you could go in and out of each other’s houses. Everybody was your cousin back then. It was a really lovely complex to live in.
“Growing up in St Mary’s Mansions it was an open complex and it really had a good community spirit. Neighbours were close to each other so with the new development we wanted to keep the open balconies. It was really important being on board from day one,” she said.
The site is now accessed by a newly developed entrance located on Gloucester Place Lower. This restoration of a formerly underused space has resulted in improved security. A new lift along with additional stairwells has improved access for all the residents and more car and bike parking facilities have been provided.
“The HFA is committed to facilitating and supporting the successful delivery of social housing in Ireland. We are delighted to have funded this fantastic redevelopment and to see St Mary’s Mansions brought back to life again. The successful delivery of 80 homes in Dublin City Centre is a fantastic achievement and we look forward to supporting Clúid to deliver even more new homes in the future,” said Barry O’Leary, CEO, Housing Finance Agency.
Two specially adapted universal access apartments were developed to the front of the scheme. These apartments are equipped with fully adjustable kitchen units that can be raised or lowered by the resident, level access wet rooms, and internal spaces that are designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of movement.
St Mary’s Mansions now has a range of communal facilities available for residents. There is a communal room with coffee making facilities, a communal bike store, a play and recreation courtyard and a communal landscaped park. Each apartment is provided with an area of open space outside the entrance door for seating. Each ground floor apartment is provided with a small garden and every kitchen overlooks the courtyard which provides sight across to the playground.
Each apartment’s intercom has a video screen. This provides a video link to all access points around the development meaning visitors can call from any access gate or courtyard door and speak via video link to the resident.
Clúid Housing’s New Business Director, Fiona Cormican, says: “The true significance of having our own place to call home, our own front door, has been highlighted during the recent Covid-19 emergency. Today, Clúid reaffirms its commitment to providing more homes to more people.
“We rely on partnerships to deliver quality housing and services to our residents. The regeneration of St Mary’s Mansions is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnerships between Clúid, the Department of Housing, the HFA and local authorities like Dublin City Council. The regeneration of St Mary’s is so much more than a redevelopment of a building, it is the reinstatement of the proud community that has lived here for many generations.”
The Building Energy Rating (BER) in each apartment following the refurbishment is now an A. The development saw the use of cutting-edge insulation technology which eliminated heat loss along with a high efficiency gas fired centralised heating system which provides hot water on demand via monitored heat units in each home. The result of this work is a very efficient home with an estimated total annual heating and hot water cost of approximately €300 per apartment. Combined with an affordable rent, the reduced fuel costs will help to combat fuel poverty among residents. Solar electricity which supplements demand across the development, further reduces living costs.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, spoke at a socially distanced launch of the flagship regeneration project: “After an incredible redevelopment and significant investment, I am delighted to see this scheme completed and providing super-efficient homes to people on Dublin City Council’s housing list. Together with other local amenities here in the heart of the city, St Mary’s Mansions is a shining example of collaboration and partnership. I wish all the residents the very best of luck in their new homes for many years to come.”
Get in touch with a member of Clúid’s New Business team:
T: 01 707 2088