Hundreds of social homes to be built on council works depot sites
Three sites selected on Dublin’s south side and six on north side to yield 745 homes
The three southside sites are in Rathmines (100 homes), and the Liberties (120) and Tenters (3) in Dublin 8. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
At least 745 social homes are to be built on nine sites across Dublin currently used as bases for council staff, vehicles and equipment.
More than 20 per cent will be senior citizens’ apartments, including homes for older people who want to downsize from larger family houses.
Three of the nine operations depot sites are on the southside of the city, with the remainder on the northside. The council plans to build two larger works depots, first in Ballymun and later at Marrowbone Lane in the south inner city, which will free up the land.
The council does not plan to build the homes itself, but will instead use approved housing bodies (AHBs) to provide the social housing. Where previously the council transferred land to these housing organisations for free, it plans to sell them the sites at a reduction on the market value.
“These sites will only become available for social housing if the new depot is constructed, and the depot can only be constructed if we can generate some income from these sites,” the council’s head of housing Brendan Kenny said.
Housing organisations had indicated they could secure finance to buy the sites, Mr Kenny said. “The AHBs are very keen to become involved and they will be in a position to move faster than we can in relation to these sites, so we will be seeking expressions of interest from them shortly.”
Councillors have previously stated they are not prepared to approve the sale of council land. However, Mr Kenny said he did not anticipate that would be an issue with these sites as the land would be used for social housing.
“I would hope that councillors would have no issue with this – AHBs are essentially the same as the local authority. We are all providing social housing, it is not the same as selling land to a private developer.”
The council is putting plans in place now for the reuse of the depot sites so they can be built on as soon as the land becomes available, Mr Kenny said. Construction of the Ballymun depot is expected to start in the summer and be competed in two years, while the Marrowbone Lane site is expected to begin in three years; time.
The three southside sites are in Rathmines (100 homes), and the Liberties (120) and Tenters (3) in Dublin 8. On the northside, one site is in the city centre on Portland Row (35), two are in Dublin 7 in Stoneybatter (275) and Cabra (15), with the rest in Ballybough (32), Coolock (50) and on Collins Avenue opposite DCU (115).
Separately, the number of tenants allocated permanent social homes in the city increased by 45 per cent last year, according to new council figures.