Statement on providing new housing on Ballmastone lands

After long consideration of the available options, the Labour Party group of Councillors on Fingal County Council have decided to vote for the Ballymastone project.

This development will deliver 476 social and affordable homes.

A number of commitments were secured that were necessary in the absence of sufficient capital investment from the Government and the Housing Minister that would finance a fully public scheme of affordable and social housing on the lands.

The Labour group requested the manager to secure legally binding written agreements from the developer to prevent the acquisition of housing by cuckoo funds. She has secured these agreements.

We have secured an undertaking that 50% of the private apartments will be delivered to a body approved to provide cost rental and the remainder offered to individuals in the private market.

We have secured a guarantee that none of the private houses or Duplexes will be acquired by Cuckoo funds.

This project is not perfect but the alternative would be to delay the construction of 1,194 homes during a housing crisis, over half of which will be social, affordable or cost rental.

The biggest single issue we face as Councillors are people coming to us trying to secure a home.

To vote this down would create an unacceptable delay in the supply of housing for the people we represent.

We cannot wait for the Minister and the Department of Housing to get their act together and to deliver a proper housing plan. We urge him to deliver a cost rental scheme that makes rents actually affordable.

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