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Women's Refuge Wins National Housing Award

Published: Monday, October 17, 2011

Designed by Cathal Crimmins Architecture and Burke Kenney Doyle Architects, Viva House, a women’s refuge in Dublin 15, recently won a national community housing award in the ‘Homeless Services’ category of the Irish Council for Social Housing’s (ICSH) Community Housing awards in Galway. The awards showcase high-quality social housing projects that have been developed by housing associations and local authorities in the past two years.

Viva House provides crisis refuge accommodation, support and outreach to women affected by domestic violence. In development for 12 years, Viva House opened to the public in June 2010. The refuge combines high-tech safety features with a calm, ‘homely’ space. Viva House is part of Sonas Housing Association, which also provides longer-term supported housing to women and children affected by domestic violence. “We are delighted with this award,” said Sharon Cosgrove, Sonas Housing CEO. “A huge amount of work went into the development of the project and this award is a great recognition to everyone who played a part in ensuring the refuge is built and fully operational.”

Sonas Housing also received two other awards at the ICSH ceremony. The Belmayne supported housing project was successful in the collaboration category. This mixed-tenure project provides long-term housing with support and has been developed in co-operation with Cluid Housing Association and Hail Housing Association. Gearoidin Charlton, a retired Sonas board member, was also commended at the awards for her work on the organisation’s board of management.

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