IGB deal an indictment of Housing Department’s ability to deliver affordable homes
Responding to reports in the Business Post that a consortium of developers, the Department of Housing, and Dublin City Council are close to finalising a substandard deal for the delivery of homes at the Glass Bottle site in Dublin 4, Labour Party Leader Ivana Bacik and Councillor for the South East Inner City Kevin Donoghue have described the plans as an indictment of the Government’s ability to deliver affordable housing.
Deputy Bacik said:
“For many years, the Irish Glass Bottle Housing Action Group has campaigned for affordable homes on the Glass Bottle site, which is one of Dublin’s largest underdeveloped plots of land. At a time when 12,000 people are homeless and many thousands more are struggling to find a secure home of their own, Ireland needs a Government which is able to deliver affordable homes.
“Reports from the Business Post over the weekend have revealed that a paltry twenty-five affordable homes will be delivered in the first phase of this long-awaited development. That is a far cry from the 87 which originally expected.
“A lack of urgency, or understanding, at a ministerial level within the Department of Housing has already delayed these much needed homes from coming on stream. News of this staggering agreement for the under-delivery of affordable units is a hammer blow and just the latest in a series of very disappointing moves by the Department.
“We understand that the Department of Housing and Dublin City Council have told the consortium that they have ‘exhausted the limitations’ of existing Government schemes to make the Poolbeg homes affordable.
“That is cold comfort to all those in housing insecurity who are now realising that this long-promised development is likely to be of no benefit to them. Clearly, this is a bad deal, with the people of Dublin standing to lose the most.
“We all want to see public homes built on public land. When land is handed over to private interests because the State cannot provide, there is an expectation of a decent quid pro quo. In this case, there was an explicit commitment made.
“What is clear now is that there is no intention to make good on that commitment. Minister O’Brien must step in and ensure that the public gets bang for its buck. There simply must be adequate provision of affordable homes in the Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone. The Labour Party urges the Minister to engage with the local Housing Action Group, and to intervene to guarantee affordability for the area.”
Councillor Donoghue said:
“The Council, the people of Dublin, and the residents of Ringsend were given steadfast commitments about the delivery of social and affordable housing on the Irish Glass Bottle site. Recent reports clearly fall well short of those commitments and we need clarity from the Department on the issue immediately. Their efforts to date could be described as weak at best. If there is an ounce of leadership within the Department of Housing now would be a good time to show us.”