Housing Minister and Lord Mayor launch new computer scheme for older social housing residents
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, visited Clann’s Broome Lodge scheme in Cabra on 22 May to officially launch the roll-out of computer tablets for residents.
Broome Lodge is an age-friendly social housing scheme, operated by Clann, Clúid Housing’s dedicated housing service for residents aged 55 years and older.
In an increasingly digital world, computer literacy is vital for accessing supports and services, and for keeping in touch with friends and family. However, only 71% of people over the age of 50 have internet access in their homes, with just 64% having access to a smartphone or tablet computer. This decreases among older age-groups – only 30% of those aged 80+ have access to a smartphone or tablet.
This programme, which will provide Acorn computer tablets to Clann schemes around Leinster, will support more Clann residents to get online, giving them greater access to information, services and ways to communicate with others. The tablets will be available for residents to borrow for use in Clann communal spaces, and all information is wiped from the tablets after each use. In addition to the Clann Scheme Managers, who provide assistance and support, residents will be able to access resources on using the Acorn tablets and staying safe online.
The Acorn tablets use software specifically designed for older people, and the clear and simple interface makes it easy for users to get online. The software is designed by Dublin-based company Origin Care Group, which specialises in age-friendly digital solutions.
The programme is funded by the Housing Finance Agency’s Social Investment Fund, which supports projects that complement housing schemes and nurture community development. More than €240,000 in total was awarded under the SIF last year and the Acorn computer tablet programme at Broome Lodge was one of 12 initiatives to receiving funding.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, commented at the visit, “With so much of our world moving online, it is vital that older people do not get left behind, unable to access vital supports or services, or stay connected with friends and family. I commend Clann and Clúid for this initiative, and for their continued work to ensure our older citizens have a great place to live.”
Karin Ahlers, resident of Killarney Court, another Clann scheme that has benefitted from the tablet programme, said: “Once the set-up was done it was very easy to use. I like the layout – the keys and fonts are big enough to read and understand. The videos are straightforward. I highly recommend using the Acorn tablet. I think all older people should have access to wifi.”
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said: “Social housing is about so much more than bricks and mortar – it’s about providing a secure base so residents can live their lives and expand their horizons. It’s great to be here today to see how the residents of Broome Lodge are using these Acorn tablets to learn new skills, get online and take advantage of new opportunities. I’m sure that Clann residents all over the country will benefit greatly from increased internet access.”
Chief Executive of the Housing Finance Agency, Barry O’Leary, stated, “We have seen in recent years how important computer literacy skills are, particularly when it comes to accessing services or staying connected with friends and family. The HFA are proud to have provided funding for this initiative through our Social Investment Fund and we are delighted to join residents at Broome Lodge today for the launch. I want to pay credit to Clann and Clúid for their strong commitment, not just to providing homes, but to building supportive communities around their residents.”
Niall Ó’Ceallacháin, Chief Operations Officer, Clúid Housing said, “Supporting our residents to live independently is at the very heart of everything Clann does. We hope increasing our residents’ access to the internet will open up a world of opportunities to them – from finding support and services, to connecting with friends, family or those who share their interests. Whenever I meet our residents, I’m struck by their energy and enthusiasm for getting involved and learning new things, and their reaction to the Acorn computer tablets is no different.
We thank the Housing Finance Agency for the funding that made this project possible, and for understanding the value of investing in communities.”
Philip Hogan, CEO, Origin Care Group, remarked, “We are delighted to work with Clann on this important initiative. Digital inclusion is at the core of what we do. We worked closely with the Clann team to make sure our technology will help service users stay connected, informed and involved and we are looking forward to growing this project together.”
Notes to the Editor:
Fiona O’Connor – Communications & Engagement Manager – Clúid Housing
+353 87 113 5411 – firstname.lastname@example.org
About Clúid Housing
Clúid Housing is an independent, not-for-profit charity, and is the largest approved housing body (AHB) or housing association in Ireland. Established in 1994, Clúid leads the way in providing high quality, affordable rented homes to people in housing need. We work in partnership with local authorities to provide housing to those on social housing waiting lists. Clúid own and manage over 10,000 properties providing a home to over 27,000 people.
Clann is Clúid’s dedicated age-friendly housing service for people over 55. Clann is committed to providing quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities. Clann is committed to empowering residents to live for as long as possible in sustainable, high quality, affordable homes in their own community.
Our team of almost 300 highly qualified professional employees are committed to providing quality housing and services that enable people to create homes and thriving communities. For more information visit www.cluid.ie