Pressure mounts to refurbish boarded up homes

by Emma Nolan

Pressure to refurbish boarded up homes in Stillorgan has mounted this week.

The social housing bedsits at St Laurence’s Park have been vacant for the last four years in what has been branded “unacceptable” by local representatives.

The units previously consisted of 16-one-bedroom maisonettes and were designated as senior citizen units. Now, just two residents remain.

Last year, plans to demolish the homes to build a swimming pool to replace the closed Glenalbyn Pool were scrapped.

Local councillor Deirdre Donnelly (Ind) has called on the council to refurbish the homes immediately.

“We can’t continue with boarded up units and no timeline for refurbishment or reconstruction.

“Over the last number of years there was talk of a much-needed library for the area on the current site.

“I accept that the area needs redevelopment with housing and a new state-of-the-art library to cater for the community, but no dates have been presented in relation to this.”

She has also asked them to consider temporarily opening up the units to accommodate those on the social housing list in the midst of the homelessness crisis, until concrete plans are established.

“I asked for the refurbishment of the units given the current homelessness crisis. This could be a temporary arrangement until there is a concrete plan for the area.

“DLRCC management announced some long-term plans that will incorporate a library and a number of units for the site but unfortunately a timeline wasn’t given.

“At this rate, redevelopment of the site could take years. It is really unacceptable given the homelessness crisis.”

The council has defended the boarding up of the homes and announced their plans for increasing the provision of homes on the street.

A spokesperson told The Gazette: “We propose to develop at least 70 new housing units and a library at St Laurence’s Park, increasing the units available for social housing.”

A full 100% of the proposed 70 units will be used as social housing, according to the council. “This development, when completed will consist of a mix of one-bed and two-bed units. We consider this the best use of the site as it will accommodate substantially more residents than could be accommodated in the current 16 units.”

An application for funding has been submitted to the Department of Housing.

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