Councillors plan 100% social and affordable homes at Dublin site

Development of 853 homes on Oscar Traynor Road site collapsed last November

Plans for 853 homes at the Santry site, one of the largest owned by the council, collapsed last November following the refusal of councillors to approve a deal with developer Glenveagh Homes. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Plans for 853 homes at the Santry site, one of the largest owned by the council, collapsed last November following the refusal of councillors to approve a deal with developer Glenveagh Homes. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

A housing development at Dublin City Council’s Oscar Traynor Road site should consist of all social and affordable homes, according to a new plan produced by a cross-party group of councillors.

Plans for 853 homes at the Santry site, one of the largest owned by the council, collapsed last November following the refusal of councillors to approve a deal with developer Glenveagh Homes.

The deal would have seen 428 sold privately by Glenveagh, 253 bought by the council for social housing and 172 sold to low- and middle-income workers qualifying for the upcoming affordable purchase scheme.

Councillors voted 48 to 14 against the deal, and instead agreed the site should be developed directly by the council for public housing.

Under the new alternative plan, the councillors state the site comprises of 100 per cent public land “and as such should provide maximum public housing benefit”.

The plan, if it was to proceed, would see 40 per cent of properties bought by the council for social housing, 40 per cent made available for a cost/affordable rental scheme, and the remaining 20 per cent sold to low- and middle-income workers under the affordable purchase scheme.

The different tenures would be “pepper-potted” throughout the development, the councillors state.

Purchasers of the affordable housing units would have to offer the property back to the council if they were to move, according to the new plan.

The report says it is “envisaged” that the Department of Housing funds the social housing and affordable housing components on the site, while Dublin City Council seeks a loan to fund the cost/affordable rental scheme.

It also states that the service site fund – a payment for the cost of infrastructure – must be increased from the current national level of €50,000 to a Dublin-specific rate of €100,000.

“However, it is essential that all funding sources should be fully explored, particularly low interest, 30-40-year term loans that would reduce annual repayment costs, particularly relevant for reducing rent levels in the affordable/cost rental units,” the report states.

The proposal is scheduled to come before a meeting of the council’s housing committee next Wednesday.

Previously, a report by Dublin City Council recently found that social and affordable homes on the site are likely to be “considerably more expensive” if built by the council instead of a private developer.

The council’s head of housing Brendan Kenny said it “cannot deliver the value for money in construction that the private can do, even where there are no land costs”.

The council would have been paying an average of €390,000 for the social and affordable housing at Oscar Traynor Road, while the average cost of directly-built council homes is €430,000, he said in a report to councillors.