Coolock among areas that may get 1,500 public homes

New plans from Dublin City Council on homes in Ballyfermot and Malahide Road

Almost 1,500 "public" homes could be built by institutional investors on more than 30 hectares of vacant land in Dublin under new plans from Dublin City Council.

The council wants to use its own land, some of which was bought at the height of the property market, to provide a new model of large-scale housing developments which would combine social housing and private housing for rent.

Unlike traditional social housing complexes the public housing scheme provides housing for both social and private tenants.

The council has identified an initial five sites for the scheme. Three of the sites are around the city’s north fringe. The other two are to the west of the city in Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard.

The plan will be presented to city councillors in the coming weeks ahead of the publication of an advertisement for expressions of interest from investors next month.

The council previously tried to provide public and private housing on its land using the public-private partnership (PPP) process. These partnerships with property developers were the standard method of providing social housing in the last two decades.

Under these schemes the council supplied the land and a developer built social and private housing, using the sale of the private properties to offset the cost of building the council housing. However, when property prices collapsed, developers pulled out of the deals, leaving several planned housing schemes unbuilt.

These schemes relied on the sale of private housing to fund the construction of social housing. Under the new model, housing would remain in the rental market.

‘Mix of housing’

“This would provide a mix of housing for rent for persons from the social housing list and any other person who wishes to rent them,” the council’s head of housing

Dick Brady


There were now, he said, many “intermediate families running into trouble in the private sector” in their ability to afford rent.

The housing would be delivered using a “consortium-led approach” offering a “total housing package” for the finance, development and housing management of the estate for 30 years. The council hopes to attract “large-scale inward capital investment”, Mr Brady said.

The consortium must have an institutional investor, a developer or builder, and a housing management provider on board.

The five plots of land chosen for the new scheme are not existing social housing estates. The largest plot, of almost 15 hectares at the junction of Coolock Lane and the M1, could provide 700 homes the council said.

Next largest is an 8.2-hectare site near Cherry Orchard Hospital, which could accommodate 400 homes.

A 6.3 acre site at the junction of the Malahide Road and Belcamp Lane, earmarked for residential development as part of the Clongriffin and Belmayne local area plan, could have 300 homes.

Smaller developments could be accommodated at a 0.7-hectare site on Kylemore Road in Ballyfermot, and a 0.47-hectare site on Bunratty Road in Coolock. These would have about 30 units each.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times