Dublin’s funds for building social housing to fall by almost half
City council to start construction of just 35 houses over three-year period
Dolphin House: €8.4million has been earmarked for the regeneration of the flat complex. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
Funding for the provision of council housing in Dublin city, which has the longest housing waiting lists in the State, is to be cut by almost 50 per cent next year.
Dublin City Council, the State’s largest housing provider, will this year spend €80 million on social housing construction projects, including the building of new units and the redevelopment of older schemes.
However, that amount is to drop to €44.5 million next year, with a similar sum to be spent in 2016, despite the growing numbers of people waiting for council houses.
Over the three-year period from the start of this year to the end of 2016, the council expects to start construction of 35 houses, provide 272 homes through regeneration and refurbishment projects and buy 115 privately owned homes out of a €170 million budget.
The money is part of the council’s capital programme for 2014-2016, which has a total budget of €508.7 million for construction projects including roadworks and flood schemes. Almost 60 per cent of the capital fund will be used for housing. In addition to the €170 million for council flats and houses, €100 million will be spent on projects including voluntary housing schemes and the reconstruction of Priory Hall.
Dublin city manager Owen Keegan said the implementation of the capital programme is “significantly dependent on exchequer funding”, with almost 63 per cent of the money coming from central Government, which has “reduced in comparison to recent years”.
The 35 houses the council plans to build will all be in one location, Buttercup Park in Darndale, at a cost of €7.9 million. The council does, however, intend to finish more than 130 homes by 2016, construction of which began in previous years.
Housing regeneration projects will swallow up more than €27 million, €15.5 million of which will be spent in 2016. The two most significant regeneration projects over the three years are St Teresa’ s Gardens, which has a budget of €9.9 million, and Dolphin House, which is getting €8.4 million. The estates are among the council’s largest flat complexes and are severely dilapidated.
A sum of €15.2 million will be used for buying houses and apartments, largely to house people who had been living in council flats earmarked for regeneration. Many of these complexes have been demolished or boarded up, but their reconstruction has been delayed by lack of funds.
Other significant sums include €27 million for returning vacant stock to occupation and improving the energy efficiency, and €13 million for repairs, remedial and improvements.