Modular house building cost rises to €175m in Dublin city

New three-year social housing budget, to provide 1,780 homes, rises by 90% to €796m

Alan Kelly  (then minister for the environment, community and local government, standing)  with John Lyons (then Labour TD) at the modular housing project in Ballymun, Dublin in February. People moved in last May. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Alan Kelly (then minister for the environment, community and local government, standing) with John Lyons (then Labour TD) at the modular housing project in Ballymun, Dublin in February. People moved in last May. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Spending on social housing in Dublin is to rise by more than 90 per cent to almost €800 million over the next three years under plans to be presented to city councillors on Monday night.

Almost €175 million, more than 20 per cent of the capital budget, has been earmarked for building modular housing for homeless families living in hotels. Construction of modular or rapid-build housing began a year ago and so far 22 have been provided at a cost of just over €4 million.

The council plans to more than double to 1,780 homes the number of social houses and apartments it will provide through new builds, refurbishment and purchase of homes over the three-years, up from the 824 earmarked in the last three-year capital plan.

The funding will be front loaded with almost €350 million to be spent in 2017. Under the previous capital budget, agreed this time last year, the council planned to spend less than half that amount, €147 million, in 2017.

Budget reviewed annually

The council reviews its three-year capital programme annually. Last year it projected spending of €416.5 million for 2016, 2017 and 2018. The new building programme, which budgets for 2017, 2018 and 2019, plans spending of €796 million on housing.

The new capital plan for the first time reveals how much the council expects to spend building modular homes. Last November work started on the first 22 homes in Ballymun. They were due to have been completed by Christmas, but families did not move in until May.

No other modular houses have been completed but 130 more are due to be under construction by the end of this year and ready next year. The capital budget sets aside more than €33 million for these houses. The largest site, St Helena’s Drive in Finglas, will have 39 houses at a projected cost of €10.4 million. At Belcamp in Darndale 38 houses will be built for €8.74 million. Mourne Road in Drimnagh will get 29 houses at €7.4 million, while 24 houses will be built in Cherry Orchard for an expected €6.6 million.

Rapid-build

An unspecified number of rapid-build houses at Woodville House, Kilmore Road in Coolock, have a budget of €8.1 million. Another 70 homes will be at sites currently under assessment and €23.35 million has been set aside for their construction over the next three years.

The largest sum, €110 million, is budgeted for rapid-build sites which have yet to be identified, but are listed in the capital plan as “pillar 1 action plan” sites. This refers to the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland housing action plan which sets a target of 1,500 modular homes across the State over the next two years.

Almost €120 million has been budgeted to complete general social housing schemes under construction such as Dolphin House and St Teresa’s Gardens, and €68.65 million has been projected for new social housing schemes such as Croke Villas. The council also plans to spend €144 million buying 480 houses, including refurbishment costs.

The council said the vast majority of the funding (€754 million) for these schemes will come from the Exchequer, but it also plans to take on significant debt and will use almost €20 million in loans to build the houses – more than three times the amount of debt it had planned to take on this time last year.