Councillors bicker over rapid build housing plan

by Emma Nolan
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DUN Laoghaire councillors have chosen speed over quality as they voted in support of rapid build social housing ahead of a traditional build.
A long debate broke out at Monday night’s council meeting as People Before Profit councillors Melisa Haplin and Hugh Lewis’s calls for an investigation into the cost, timeframe and quality of the fast-track homes were voted down.
Some 12 new Rapid Delivery social housing units are to be built at Georges Street in Dun Laoghaire.
Cllr Halpin said: “It is really disappointing that the vast majority of councillors would vote against a motion that supported the development of new houses in the tried and tested traditional way of building council houses.
“Instead, they want to push ahead with so-called Rapid Build housing, for which we have no costs and timelines.
“The cost seems to be about €183,000 per unit – which is well above the average cost of a traditional built council house, and the ‘rapid’ element has proved to be ‘not so rapid’ in the actual delivery.”
Cllr Michael Merrigan (Ind) asked the council: “Is Rapid Build in any way less costly than traditional build?”
In response, the council said that they are progressing with rapid build housing to provide houses as soon as possible for those on waiting lists.
The council said that there is “no difference” in the longevity of rapid build homes compared to traditional build. “They last just as long and are finished nine months earlier.”

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