Housing crisis: Modular homes delayed until 2017

Delivery of ‘rapid build’ prefabricated homes on vacant council lands plagued by delays

The first 22 houses on Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun were to have been finished last December, but families did not move into the 22 homes, which cost €180,000 each, until May this year. Photograph: Bloomberg

The first 22 houses on Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun were to have been finished last December, but families did not move into the 22 homes, which cost €180,000 each, until May this year. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Modular housing, due to be completed at four sites in Dublin by the end of this year to house families living in hotels, will not be finished until next year Dublin City Council has confirmed.

The delay comes despite claims from Minister for Housing Simon Coveney that the 131 homes would be ready for tenants by this December. His ambition is to have 1,500 modular homes provided by 2018.

The delivery of the “rapid build” prefabricated houses on vacant council lands has been beset by delays.

The first 22 houses on Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun were to have been finished last December, but families did not move into the 22 homes, which cost €180,000 each, until May this year.

A tender for the next four sites, in Finglas, Darndale, Cherry Orchard and Drimnagh, was advertised by the council last December, with a completion date of June this year for all 131 homes.



However, last March it cancelled this tender saying it had received an “insufficient number of applicants who confirmed they would be able to meet the deadline in order to conduct a competition”.

It reissued tenders splitting the project into four lots with different completion dates for each site ranging from October to December this year.

Timeline

The council’s executive housing manager Tony Flynn said the original time scales had not been realistic.

“We went out with an accelerated procurement process . . . The market came back and said, it can’t be done, come back with something that’s realistic. We went out again with another competition and we got interest.”

Mr Flynn said the council had made it clear to the Government there was “no point” in seeking to complete projects in a timescale which suppliers could not meet.

“We’re saying this very clearly to the office of Government procurement – you go out with your procurement process in the context of what the market will provide.”

Contractors would be working on the four sites by the second week in October, Mr Flynn said. There was the potential for some of the homes to be finished by the end of this year, but it would be early next year before the schemes would be completed, he said.

Last month Mr Coveney said he expected the Drimnagh and Darndale units to be completed within months. “I expect to see families moving in to them before year-end,” he said.

Last week he announced 1,500 rapid-build units would be delivered by 2018, 200 of which would be in place by the end of this year. So far in Dublin only 22 have been provided.