Floating homes plan for harbour ‘a crazy idea’

by Emma Nolan
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FLOATING homes in Dun Laoghaire Harbour could be a possible solution to the housing crisis – but local representatives have branded the move as a “crazy idea”.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) proposed that up to 50 new homes could be permanently moored in Dublin Bay as part of an affordable solution to the housing crisis.

DLHC has called for statements of interest to build the homes and is seeking a partner to provide them as part of a new housing scheme.

According to the company, the units would be moored at a pontoon on the western end of the port, boasting Dublin Bay views.

DLCH said that the homes would be two-bedroom properties of 84 square metres, and would be priced between €250,000 and €300,000.

Chief executive Gerry Dunne said: “The harbour estate is 250 acres, of which 50 acres is land. Historically, the focus in terms of development has been on land, but we reoriented our thinking a year ago to the idea of a floating hotel.”

Due to a lack of interest in the floating hotel idea, he said they decided on affordable housing instead.

“It’s not a big quantum of homes in the grand scheme of things but, nevertheless, if 10 different organisations in Dublin do a project like this, then all of a sudden you have 500 homes and that would make a dent.”

However, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) condemned the plans, describing them as “another crazy idea from the Harbour Company”.

Speaking to The Gazette, he said: “This is the latest in a long succession of crazy plans that no one asked for and will effectively privatise parts of the harbour.

“It will almost certainly lead to the exclusion of traditional harbour users and is utter madness at every level.”

Senator Victor Boyhan also slammed the proposal: “Noah’s Ark comes to mind. I am totally against the idea of floating shacks as a solution to social housing; it’s a crazy idea.

“It’s an idea that I could not countenance or support for social housing, it’s clearly not a sustainable alternative to building housing in the a integrated community context.”

In response to claims that their plans are “crazy”, Gerry Dunne, DLHC said: “We’ve had lots of positive responses to the idea and a lot of people told us it’s about time somebody came up with a positive solution to the housing crisis.

“We’ve been told it’s a positive solution that should be applauded. We would challenge Deputy Boyd Barrett to come up with a better solution.”

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