LABOUR COUNCILLORS CALL FOR ADVANCEMENT OF SOCIAL HOUSING ON SHANKILL SITE
Labour Councillors Deirdre Kingston, Denis O Callaghan, and Carrie Smyth have called on the Council to advance the social housing element of the Shanganagh Urban Village Scheme on Council owned lands at Shanganagh, Shankill. The Scheme, which was agreed to by all Councillors, sets out a plan for a mixture of social and affordable housing on the site.
The Councillors made the call during a debate on a motion tabled in their names at an Area Committee Meeting of the Council held this week and the motion was agreed by all Councillors present.
Councillor Deirdre Kingston stressed “that it was now imperative that the social housing element of the scheme should be advanced rather than wait for the full scheme to be rolled out, which we understand would commence at best in 2022. To wait this long is really unacceptable at a time of a housing crisis.”
Councillor Denis O Callaghan stated “that following a recent workshop on the Shanganagh Urban Village Scheme it became evident that an impasse had been reached around the affordability element of the scheme. I believe what we are proposing is the best way forward in breaking this impasse.”
Councillor Carrie Smyth said “That we need to proceed with the Social Housing Phase, as an expectation was built up in 2017 by the announcement that the site would be fast-tracked for development. As this didn’t happen we should look at bringing forward the building of social housing which will attract capital funding from government and give some hope to housing applicants.”
Responding to the Labour Motion the council Executive agreed that Stage 1 funding could be applied for to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to progress social housing on the site. The adoption of a master plan for the entire site, detailing all of the different housing options, is expected in the first or second quarter of 2019.
The Executive further said Councillors should be cognisant of the infrastructure on the site, but that a possibility exists to build a certain number of houses with the existing water and drainage infrastructure.
In welcoming the Executive comments Councillors Kingston, O’Callaghan, and Smyth agreed that they could dovetail what is being sought in their motion into the Shanganagh Urban Village Scheme which was signed up to by all Councillors.