Delivery of 578 homes in St. Michael’s Estate will be transformative for people in Inchicore-Kilmainham area, says Labour Councillor
The delivery of 578 public homes in St. Michael’s Estate will be transformative for people in Dublin 8, said Labour Councillor Darragh Moriarty.
Welcoming the formal lodging of planning for the regeneration of St. Michael’s Estate, Cllr Moriarty said projects like St. Michael’s will be vital in giving people an opportunity to live in their own community.
The scheme, which is a flagship public housing development led by Dublin City Council, will be a mixture of 70% cost-rental and 30% social housing. The scheme will provide a mix of studios (110), 1-bed (172), 2-bed (250) and 3-bed (46) homes.
The mixed-use development will also deliver a new library for Inchicore, a new community hub, creche facility, supermarket and other commercial units, as well retain the existing community sports centre.
Speaking on the proposals, Cllr. Moriarty said:
“These are exactly the type of public housing development the city and country needs if we are going to get ourselves out of the current housing crisis we find ourselves in. It has taken us a long time to get here and there are incredibly active, hard-working and dedicated community activists who deserve huge credit for staying with this project literally for decades. They have pushed and pushed to get us to this point and deserve huge credit for the delivery of these homes.
“There are concerns locally that the development will see 49% of homes delivered as either studios or 1-beds, but at the moment if you look at our Dublin City Council housing waiting lists, there are over 14,000 people waiting on a home, with nearly 9,000 of those waiting on 1-bed accommodation.
“It’s clear where the pressure on our housing system is and the types of units we are sorely lacking at the moment. I don’t think I’d go as far as 49% being studio or 1-bed, but we certainly need to move towards better catering and providing that type of accommodation. We need to ensure that there is an adequate mix of supply that reflects the need in local communities. We need to make sure that single people, young and old, have the opportunity to live side by side in their community with families.
“This scheme isn’t perfect and people, I’m sure, will have their say and try and see if tweaks or improvements can be made now that we at the planning phase. But ultimately we need to see more houses being built and the delivery of 578 public homes is a win.
“The affordability of the rents will be key in the delivery of the homes. We are all aware of the impact of soaring inflation on the construction sector. There must be a commitment that rents will be genuinely affordable for people, particularly in terms of cost-rental.
“I’m hugely disappointed that a local astro sports pitch located next to the existing community sports centre will be taken away and not replaced, despite two previous iterations of indicative designs showing that it would be retained. I would urge the Council to reconsider this decision. Homes need to be built in thriving communities that are set up for young and old to live and enjoy their space.
“Not everybody got everything they wanted out of this, and we still have a distance to go to actually getting it built, but today, formally lodging planning, is a hugely important and positive milestone to reach.”
Regarding last minute concerns that some of the site would be sold off for private development to raise funding for community amenities, Cllr. Moriarty said:
“Last week, the Consultative Forum and Local Area Councillors were informed that DCC were exploring an option to sell off a portion of the site, resulting in 90 homes, or 16% of the overall scheme being private. The message public representatives and community members sent loud and clear was that we could not countenance any backtrack on the commitment for this scheme to be fully public and that nothing less than 70% cost rental and 30% social would be acceptable. Thankfully, and to their credit, Dublin City Council officials met with community representatives and confirmed that option is now firmly off the table and the plan will be delivered as originally envisaged, with the commercial being private, but residential above being fully public.”