Proposal that support be offered to the development of inclusive neighbourhoods, community led housing and social enterprise where Camphill communities have evolved.

Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
KK-C162-291
Stádas: 
Submitted
Údar: 
Mark Girling

6.3 Sustainable Community

My submission relates specifically to Housing and Community and builds on the National Planning Framework’s National Policy Objective 28:

Plan for a more diverse and socially inclusive society that targets equality of opportunity and a better quality of life for all citizens, through improved integration and greater accessibility in the delivery of sustainable communities and the provision of associated services.

National Policy Objective 28

In relation to rural nodes / settlements, this submission specifically addresses the promotion and facilitation of housing models and social enterprise which promotes integration between people of varying support needs (disability, mental health, older people), building on social capital and informal support networks.

The submission supports the possibility for current and future initiatives that grown out of Camphill communities to further develop in the area. The impact on these initiatives is captured in the 2020 report funded by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership titled ‘Creating the Future We Want’.

This submission supports the concept of Community Led Housing as promoted by SOA's (Self-Organised Architecture) Road mapping a Viable Community-Led Housing Sector for Ireland research. Member of Callan’s Nimble Spaces Inclusive Neighbourhood initiative are on the Steering Committee of this research initiative alongside members of the Housing Agency, The Land Development Agency, Irish Council for Social Housing and others.

These community led housing pilots especially on rural sites could provide a new way forward rural innovation.

The meaning of Inclusive Neighbourhood for the purposes of this submission is defined by reference to the concept as researched and developed by Nimble Spaces, and piloted by Camphill Callan.

The Nimble Spaces project has explored a number of innovative aspects of housing for people with personal and social needs, promoting self-determination in an Active Citizenship model. Many of the principles developed in this process are directly in tune with the conditions set out in the Department [of Housing] “Call for Proposals” and the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability:

  • Promotion of Independent Living and moving away from a “residential care or designated centre” model: Each person will have their own personal residence, a tenancy agreement on the basis of a sustainable rent, and comprehensive housing rights.
  • Mixed tenure: Nimble Spaces proposes integration, on a voluntary basis, of people with varying support needs. This accommodation will be mixed with privately owned housing, giving a neighbourhood spirit of inclusion, mutual interest and support.

Beyond this, Nimble Spaces has pioneered:

  • Design collaboration between the resident and architects to achieve “the home I want to live in”. This engagement at design stage is a new stage of creative self-determination.
  • Design of “private” and “shared” spaces to achieve the best balance between self-determination and social and personal supports, achieving individual recognition while avoiding isolation.

 

Aligning the Kilkenny County Council Development Policies with the Kilkenny County Council Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with a Disability:

In support of my submission I refer to the Kilkenny County Council Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with a Disability 2016-2020.

As the Kilkenny County Council Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with a Disability 2016-2020 (S 3.6) notes, “a new sociology seeks that provision should be thought in terms of ‘Community development’ whereby society at large and thereby citizenry should be the provider or ‘natural’ supporter”. The Strategic Plan document suggests that the “early initiative [of Nimble Spaces] could be a beginning toward a genuinely new county-wide approach to the housing integration of people with disabilities” (Kilkenny County Council Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with a Disability 2016-2020 S 5.4.1).

Such a county-wide approach to the housing integration of people with disabilities can only be realised when the Objectives and Policies of the County Development Plan are aligned with and supportive of the Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with Disability.

Furthermore, the Kilkenny County Council Strategic Plan for Housing Persons with a Disability 2016-2020 (P23) makes special note of the importance of location of the house for the person with disabilities: “Location is vital as this can be the first time for people to experience such things that others consider to be routine such as living independently and so proximity to their support networks is mandatory”. The location of the support network will be different for each individual; for some the support network may be in the local town; for others it may be important to remain in the vicinity of the congregated setting where their formal and informal support network is currently based (especially in the case of Camphill Communities, where informal support networks continue to characterise the setting).

 

SPECIFIC SUGGESTED ADDITIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN:

Section 6.3 Sustainable Community

I propose the addition of the following text to the opening paragraph of Section 6.3:

In those rural settlements where Camphill communities have developed, the Council seeks to support new initiatives, along the lines of inclusive neighbourhoods, community led housing and social enterprise [through funding policy and planning regulations] to develop and thrive”.

Section 7.1 Rural Development - Introduction

The list of policy objectives currently includes the objective to ‘Maintain and enhance existing rural community to ensure vibrant sustainable rural areas’. To this I would add:

Where Camphill communities have developed, the Council seeks to support the development of inclusive neighbourhoods, community led housing and social enterprise and promote the integration of a wide range of household types and people with varying degrees of support needs”.

Main opinion: 

Policy measures are needed which expressly enable the integration between people of varying support needs (disability, mental health, older people), building on existing social capital and informal support networks.

Main requests: 

Addition of the following text to the opening paragraph of Section 6.3:

”In those rural settlements where Camphill communities have developed, the Council seeks to support new initiatives, along the lines of inclusive neighbourhoods, community led housing and social enterprise [through funding policy and planning regulations] to develop and thrive”.

Main reasons: 

Integration between people of varying support needs (disability, mental health, older people), building on social capital and informal support networks where Camphill communities have developed.

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