Protesters delayed social homes for 65 families

by Gazette Reporter

A LONG-AWAITED social housing scheme delayed by protesters earlier this year will not be delivered until 2021.

Activists calling themselves ‘House the Irish First’ stalled construction on 65 houses and apartments in Mulhuddart for several weeks from January to March.

Now it’s emerged that due to a combination of delays pre-lockdown and the Covid-19 construction hiatus the scheme will not be ready before Christmas as hoped.

House the Irish First claimed the units being built on behalf of Cluid housing agency, a not-for-profit charity, on council-owned land at Ladyswell Road were being allocated to non-nationals ‘leap-frogging’ the housing list.

However Fingal County Council vehemently denied the claims, pointing to its transparent allocation system and the fact that the houses had not yet been allocated.

The building contractor, K&J Construction Ltd, took court action and claimed delays had resulted in extra costs of e1.5m.

Cluid spokesman James Harold told Dublin Gazette: “Clúid is committed to delivering these high quality homes to people on Fingal County Council’s housing list.

“Unfortunately, the timeline for delivery has been extended due to both the Covid-19 emergency and the protest which occurred earlier this year.

“We have an ambitious programme of over 3,000 new social homes to be delivered before the end of 2022 and are working to ensure the long term effects of Covid-19 do not impact our ability to deliver these much needed homes.”

He added: “Clúid is a resilient organisation that continues to innovate despite the impact of the recent Covid-19 restrictions.

“We have a robust financial model that ensures our sustainability. It’s full steam ahead for us now with all of our construction sites back up and running and projects coming to completion across the country.”

Clúid, the country’s largest approved housing body, has delivered 93 homes to families and single people on Fingal County Council’s housing list alone over the past 12 months with plans to deliver at least 70 more in the north county before the end of the year.

The organisation now owns and manages 7,583 homes, providing affordable housing and support services to 20,000 people across 26 counties.

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