Council discussing purchase of Tyrrelstown homes with fund

Dozens of families served with notices to quit after fund buys development loan for estate

 People taking part in a protest organised by Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group , outside Davy House with a march to Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

People taking part in a protest organised by Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group , outside Davy House with a march to Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Fingal County Council has confirmed it is in contact with the developer of the Tyrrelstown housing estate with a view to purchasing a number of the units.

The comment followed a statement by acting Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly in the Dáil last night that both the county council and a housing association were in talks with the developer.

Residents of the west Dublin estate were recently given notice that their homes had been purchased by an investment fund. Over 100 houses in Cruise Park, Tyrrelstown, are likely to be sold after a firm acquired the development loan for the estate.

Dozens of families have been served with notices to quit, with times varying from between one month and 112 days, depending on how long they have been there.

Fingal County Council director of housing Margaret Geraghty said discussions with the developer were ongoing and had to be allowed take their course.

It is understood that a Goldman Sachs fund purchased the estate from Nama for €42 million. Ms Geraghty did not comment on the figure the local authority would be prepared to pay to purchase a number of units in the estate.

“Fingal County Council has an ambitious capital programme over the next three years, as part of that we will focus our efforts and have discussions with developers,” Ms Geraghty said.

She said she was not prepared to reveal details of the discussions as they were ongoing, but did confirm that county council had met with the developers and that they also supported efforts by a housing association to purchase units.

“We are open to purchasing some of the units in this development if the developer is still interested.”

A delegation from the Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group attended a Dáil debate on housing on Tuesday, where their case was raised in a motion by Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger.

Funke Tobun was part of the delegation. “We are pleading with the Government to rescue us from the vulture funds,” she said ahead of the debate.

Ms Tobun, who has been living in the same home with her husband and three children for more than eight years, said she had been “heartbroken” when she received a letter saying her rental lease would not be renewed when it expires at the end of November.

“What we want is for the Government to set up an affordable housing scheme to help these families stay in their homes,” she said.

“We know that there is a huge shortage of homes in Dublin west, and if we are forced out then we will have nowhere to go.”

Matty Wayne, an Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor in the area, said the issue of vulture funds buying up distressed loans and then looking to sell homes was a “major issue”.