Council built only 40 houses in Dublin last year, report shows

Two PPPs delivering 221 apartments due to be completed this year delayed until 2019

Dublin City Council built only 40 new homes last year, 22 of which were modular houses erected in Ballymun for homeless families.

A report to be presented to the councillors today states that 496 homes were “completed” by the council last year to accommodate people on its housing waiting list, which stands at about 23,000 applicants.

However, just 40 these were newly-built homes. In addition to the 22 “rapid build” houses in Ballymun, nine apartments were provided for social housing at Priory Hall and another nine were built at Maxwell Road in Rathmines.

The remaining 456 homes include 145 houses and apartments bought by the council, 28 renovated apartments at Crampton Buildings in Temple Bar, 87 leased from landlords through the residential accommodation scheme (RAS) and another 10 bought using RAS. The other 186 were houses and apartments which were provided through various approved housing bodies.


Refurbished houses

In total, the council said, it provided 2,077 social housing units in 2016.

Just under half of these were existing council homes which were vacant and needed extensive refurbishment, known as “voids”, with 640 homes provided through the housing assistance payment (HAP) where the council pays rent directly to landlords on behalf of social housing tenants.

The corresponding figures for 2015 show 1,689 social homes were provided. More (565) were “completed” and more voids were brought back into use, at 1,012. However, as the HAP tenancies programme was just beginning, this figure was considerably lower at just 112 .

Separately, two new public-private partnership (PPP) social housing schemes which were due to be completed this year are to be delayed until 2019.

In October 2015, Alan Kelly, then minister for the environment, announced the social houses would be built by the end of 2017 using the PPP model at a number of sites, including Ayrfield on the Malahide Road and Scribblestown in north Dublin. The council hopes to start construction of 71 apartments in Scribblestown and 150 at Ayrfield next year.

Unlike previous PPP models, the sites stay in the State’s ownership and the developer gets payments for a 25-year period, after which the houses or apartments revert to State ownership.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times