6 housing solutions
Get private and voluntary sectors involved
To give thousands of people living in sub-standard public housing a better deal, cash-strapped Dublin City Council needs to consider involving the private and voluntary sectors. For example, St Joseph’s Mansions on Killarney Street, once a drugs black spot, was renovated by Reddy Architecture for the Cluid Housing Association. The number of apartments was reduced, lifts were installed and a community centre and offices built.
Another public-housing option is the Harbour Point model in Boston, where a run-down estate with multiple social problems was renovated by property developers Corcoran-Jennison under a 99-year lease and has been managed by them since its completion in 1990.
Developing the emerging district centres of Heuston and The Point as mixed use areas to attract middle-class families and high-quality employment should be a priority.
Many of the “empty nesters” in family-sized homes with front and back gardens could live more comfortably in apartments. Tax incentives could facilitate passing these houses to a new generation.
In the city or inner suburbs, allow small-scale residential development of two-to-six units on in-fill sites, for individuals, families or even groups of friends.
High density guidelines
Dublin could learn from Vancouver’s high-density housing guidelines for families with children. These specify bedrooms with sufficient floor space for playing, hallways with room for toys and private or semi-private outdoor spaces, among other simple, sensible rules.