Councillors react to €21.4m housing fund

by Gazette Reporter
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THERE was a mixed reaction to Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly’s announcement that €21.4m in funding is being allocated for 89 social housing projects in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.
DLR housing schemes due to receive the first tranche of social housing funding include €3.3m for 14 units for Rochestown House (phase three), €12m for 50 units for Fitzgerald Park, €5.1m for 21 social housing units at Broadford Rise and €1m for four units at St Michael’s Terrace.
Cllr Neale Richmond (FG): “Obviously, this announcement is welcome and it might help the huge housing shortage in our area. There are three developments identified for this funding, and each will need to be properly evaluated from a planning perspective.
“The proposed development of 21 units at Broadford seems a bit high to me for such a small site, but I await the planning permission.”
Cllr Kate Feeney (FF) said: “Any funding should be welcomed, but given the scale of the crisis in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, the provision for 89 housing units just does not go far enough.
“I thought we would have seen a better and speedier response from Minister Kelly on this issue.
“The fact the housing crisis did not feature in the heralded Spring Statement last week speaks volumes as to where this issue stands on the Government’s priority list.”
Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) said the announcement would bring investment and jobs to Dun Laoghaire. She added: “I am delighted that we will receive €21.4m funding as part of this first phase of investment.”
However, Cllr Michael Merrigan (Ind) said the latest funding announcement by Minister Kelly was “a minimalist response”, and said: “There is no willingness by this Coalition to commit to a long-term investment in the provision of social housing on the scale required to provide the much needed homes for people in our Republic.”
Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) said that, of the nearly 5,500 people on the housing list, “not one will get a key in 2015, and only some will by 2016.”
Meanwhile, a motion by Cllr Boyhan calling on the council to make resources available for the construction of 150 social residential units for 2015 revealed the council’s current social housing plans.
In a report, the council stated that 34 units at Rochestown House (phase two) are due to be completed by April of next year; and the construction of 15 new units at Cromlech Close in Kilternan was to begin last month, and the construction period is estimated to be 16 months, with the handover expected in August 2016.

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