Extension for modular home residents refused

by Aisling Kennedy

A motion to allow homeless families to remain living in newly-built modular homes around Dublin city longer than the proposed 18 months was defeated at last week’s Dublin City Council housing strategic policy committee (SPC) meeting.
Cllr Paul McAuliffe (FF) told the Gazette that he believes that families who are due to move into the modular houses in areas such as Baile na Laochra in Ballymun should be permitted to stay living there if they wish.
Cllr McAuliffe said that he placed a motion down at the recent housing SPC meeting to call on the assistant city manager at the council to reconsider the proposed 18 month licence agreement granted and instead grant longer term licences or tenancies to those residents being allocated homes.
He said: “Initially, we thought that these modular houses were going to be used on an emergency basis for a few months but what seems to be proposed now is that these houses are going to be used for a much longer period of time. In other words, a homeless family would move in there for 12 months to two years but then they’d move out and another family would move in and so on.”
Cllr McAuliffe said that he does not think this is a realistic option and said: “I feel we were duped when this initial proposal was put to us.”
“Placing people into accommodation for a longer period of time like this and then moving them on will be very bad for families in these communities as it will mean there will be a rotating community which is bad because people will feel they don’t have a connection to the area. It will also be bad for local schools, for the local community and there could possibly be anti-social behaviour with families moving in and out on a regular basis.”
Cllr McAuliffe said that as the new modular homes are designed to a much higher spec than previously thought, it would make more sense to build the homes in a normal time scale and use them as permanent homes instead of temporary homes.
“From what we are seeing, these modular homes are solid permanent structures and a lot of them have a higher energy rating than other houses in the area. So why can’t we build more of them for permanent use rather than letting people rotate in and out of them?”
At the housing SPC meeting last week, however, both the city manager and a number of councillors at the meeting rejected Cllr McAuliffe’s motion.
The Gazette approached the council for a comment as to why they rejected Cllr McAuliffe’s motion at last week’s housing SPC meeting but they had not returned with a response at the time of going to print.
Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the council last week, the first set of 22 rapid build housing units will be completed in Poppintree, Ballymun, by the end of March 2016.
The statement said: “The 22 houses are two-story units, with three bedrooms and will provide temporary accommodation for families who are experiencing homelessness and who are currently accommodated in commercial hotels by the local authority, on an emergency basis.”

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