Providing for the Elderly
By the mid-century, the Trust possessed a range of accommodation types: old tenements, some of them with shared facilities at Bull Alley & Kevin Street; newer flats in the Kevin Street extensions, and suburban cottages at Crumlin. Almost 3,000 people were living in Iveagh Trust accommodation – 2,410 persons in the flats & 570 in the Crumlin houses. The capital of the Trust amounted to over half a million pounds with net income from rents and investments of £11,418.
Mount Anthony, Rathmines: 1960 – 1973
Provision for the elderly was to become a major concern for the Iveagh Trust and it was among the first in Ireland to develop a supported housing model, aimed at helping older people live in the community for as long as possible. In 1959 the Trustees purchased a 1.25 acre site at Mount Anthony, Ardee Road, Rathmines, with the objective of building flats for elderly women.
The first stage of development at Rathmines consisted of 10 double and 30 single flatlets, 2 guest rooms, a common room and a caretaker’s quarters. It was officially opened on 14th November 1962 by Mr. Neil Blaney, Minister for Local Government. The flats were soon fully occupied.
In 1963, 49 persons were living in Mount Anthony estate and the average age was 72. A considerable waiting list built up in anticipation of the further redevelopment which was to be undertaken as and when funds were available. The Rathmines project was encouraged by a grant of £12,000 from the Department of Local Government in 1963 and in 1964 by a similar amount from Dublin Corporation. 42 additional homes were completed in 1968. The development then contained 82 self-contained homes – 72 single and 10 double, housing 87 people.
The Trust’s decision to begin selling the houses at Iveagh Gardens in Crumlin from the early 1970s helped to finance the extensions at Mount Anthony and the continued modernisation of the older city centre flats. At that time, 89 of the Crumlin tenants took advantage of the opportunity to purchase and seven vacant houses were sold on the open market.
The Trustees acquired Cosy Lodge, a derelict house on a 25-acre site adjoining Mount Anthony on which a further 30 single flats were built between 1971 and 1973. This brought the total accommodation on the Rathmines estate to 112 ‘flatlets’ – entirely for elderly ladies and married couples. In 1973 the weekly rental, including rates, was £3.25 for single flats and £3.38 for a double flat. Further expansion and modernisation at Mount Anthony would not get underway until the late 1990s.