Dublin City Council’s social housing output to halve
Council given target of providing 3,347 homes in three year period up to end of 2017
Up to April 1st this year, 105 homes had been built or acquired by Dublin City Council and the not-for profit housing sector. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
The number of permanent social homes due to be provided in Dublin city this year is set drop by more than half on 2015, according to figures from Dublin City Council.
The Government’s social housing strategy gives the council a target of providing 3,347 homes in a three year period up to the end of 2017, though a combination of building, buying, refurbishment, and rental arrangements, with a budget of €292 million.
Last year this resulted in 1,689 homes being added to the city’s social housing stock, but by the end of 2016, this figure is expected to reach just over 700.
Last year, the council and voluntary housing bodies in the city built, or acquired from the private sector, 565 homes. A further 1,012 homes were provided through refurbishing “voids” or empty council housing. In addition, 112 homes came from the private sector using the housing assistance payment (HAP) .
Up to the start of this month, 105 homes had been built or acquired by the council and the not-for profit housing sector. By the end of the year, 107 more are due to have been built by the council.
The council’s two largest construction projects are at Buttercup Park in Darndale and at Priory Hall. Each scheme will have 35 houses or apartments available for social housing tenants by the end of the year. Crampton Buildings in Temple Bar will have a further 28, while a smaller project at Maxwell Road in Rathmines involves nine new homes.
The council expects to have bought 60 privately-owned homes for use for social housing by the end of the year, while housing bodies will provide 142 homes through purchases
The council also hopes to have secured 19 homes through long-term leasing arrangements and the rental assistance scheme. Some 86 HAP tenancies are also expected to be provided.
The construction of council housing, while still low, has grown since 2015 when 19 homes were built by the council. Where the big disparity in the annual figures lies is in the number of vacant council houses due to be refurbished.
Targeted funding designed to bring these vacant homes or “voids” back into use means that few empty council houses remain and only 157 voids will be brought back into to the system this year.
Last year, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly changed the rules in relation to developers’ obligation to provide social homes as part of private estates.
Previously developers could offer a local authority cash in lieu of housing. This option has has ended, but other changes to the scheme mean the number of homes that must be provided has been cut from 20 to 10 per cent of a development, and size of a qualifying housing scheme has increased from estates of five to estates of 10 houses or apartments.
The council expects to acquire 26 homes under this scheme, known as “Part V” by the end of the year.
Separately 153 “rapid build” or modular homes for homeless families are due to be built by the end of the year.