Timmons blasts Council over latest local homeless figures

by Padraig Conlon

Local Councillor Francis Timmons has described SDCC’s record of building 262 houses in five years as “shocking.”

The revelation came at the final meeting of the current council on Tuesday ahead of the local elections at the end of the month.

“Figures released to me through council questions show a 169% increase in homelessness in five years and just 262 houses been built,” Cllr Timmons said.

“The figures show me very clearly that Rebuilding Ireland is failing, we have failed the most vulnerable.

“I had called for five years for emergency accommodation/hostel and my calls were ignored.

“The figures are shocking and while the responsibility must lie with the Minister for Housing and his department, SDCC and elected Councillors must share the responsibility not enough Part 8s have come to the Council.

“Two sites identified near my home have not come to council for approval, it’s not good enough and there is no sense of urgency.’’

South Dublin County Council said:

“Since 2014, the Council has built a total of 262 homes under our social housing construction programme as follows:

“In 2016 three schemes were completed under the housing construction programme at Suncroft, Tallaght (10 homes), St. Finians, Lucan (2) and St. Marys Belgard Road (3).

“No housing builds were completed in 2017.

“There were 238 social homes practically completed in 2018 at the following developments: St Marks Green, Clondalkin (11 homes); MacUilliam, Fortunestown (28 homes); Dromcarra, Jobstown (14 homes); Sheehy Skeffington Meadows (90 homes), Killininny (24 homes); Lett’s Field, Neilstown (37 homes); and Killinarden (17 homes).

“9 social homes have been delivered to date in 2019 at Killinarden with 103 further social homes currently under construction for delivery in 2019 in developments at Owendoher, Ballyboden (40 homes) and St. Cuthbert’s, Clondalkin (63 homes) while a further 109 social homes are under construction at Corkagh Grange under the national PPP bundle and will be delivered in 2020.

“Since 2018 a further 8 housing developments comprising 276 social homes have been approved for planning by the Elected Members under the Part 8 process. 

“These developments, which will be completed from 2020 onwards, are at Homeville (16 homes), St. Catherine’s (13 homes), Riversdale, Clondalkin (44 homes), Templeogue Village (11 older person homes), Fernwood/Maplewood (40 older person homes), Whitestown Way (81 older person homes), Balgaddy (69 homes) and Greenfort Gardens (2 homes).

“Detailed design works and tender preparations are underway for these developments and it is envisaged that construction will commence on the first of these homes in the last quarter of 2019.”

Cllr Timmons said if Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is not capable of fixing the homeless crisis then he should resign.

“We are relying on the private sector to provide homes which is costing the taxpayer a fortune it is not value for money for the taxpayer and not working,” he said.

“Hostels/B&Bs/Hotel rooms/Hubs/Direct Provision etc. are not homes and are providing unsuitable accommodation for a lot of people especially the children living in these are effected in regards to mental health.

“€2,000 plus rents are causing stress and pressure on many and we need to look at a system of publicly funded housing that meets the many complex needs of a lot of people.

“Many are working and struggling to pay increasing rents, housing is at boiling point and if the Minister can’t sort it he should resign and let someone in that get the job done.

“We also need to look at large scale developments outside of Dublin as Dublin is at boiling point in regards to traffic congestion and Transport.

“We also need to look at government incentives to get people to relocate and in order to build sustainable communities outside of Dublin.”

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