A housing co-operative that last year sold 49 homes in Ballymun at prices starting from €140,000, is to build a new low-cost housing estate in the north Dublin suburb.
Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance started building its first Ballymun estate in 2016, using the principles of an affordable housing scheme, despite their being no State scheme in operation since 2011.
The houses, designed by Dún Laoghaire architects Smith and Kennedy, ranged in price from €140,000-€150,000 for a two-bed, €160,000-€175,000 for a three-bed and €199,000-€214,000 for a four-bed.
The co-op was able to keep the prices below market costs, because it was sold the land in Poppintree, Ballymun, by Dublin City Council for €1,000 per house plot. On the open market the same plots would have cost €20,000-€30,000. The council also waived the development levies of €86.40 per square metre.
The council last autumn sought developers to provide low-cost housing at another Ballymun site, about half a kilometre away from the Ó Cualann estate.
Ó Cualann has been selected to develop the site and plans to provide 39 houses for sale to eligible buyers
"We were successful in making a bid for this site based on replicating the Ó Cualann model in Poppintree," Ó Cualann chief executive Hugh Brennan said.
The new houses, most of which will be three-beds, will be more expensive than the first estate, as labour and other costs have risen, but Mr Brennan said he hoped to keep the prices of most homes below €200,000.
Types of homes
“We hope to deliver 32 three- bedrooms homes with prices starting at approximately €198,000. We hope that there will be some two- and four-bedroom units as well, priced pro-rata.”
The sale of the site to the co-op must be formally approved by city councillors, before Ó Cualann can apply for planning permissions for the estate. However Mr Brennan said he hoped to be on site this summer.
“We hope to be able to start on site, subject to planning . . . in June or July of this year and would like to see the first families moving in in spring 2019.”
The co-op also hopes to build another scheme of 66 homes on a council site next to its first estate.
To qualify for the affordable homes buyers must have incomes within specified limits and they must have a 10 per cent deposit and mortgage approval in principle. Homeowners who sell within 10 years will have to pay a “clawback” fee to the co-op related to the discount on the purchase price.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy last October said the Ó Cualann development had provided an "excellent model" from which he was developing a new national affordable housing scheme, details of which he said he intended to announce that month.
Last November Mr Murphy said he was finalising details of the scheme, but they have yet to be published.
The introduction of a new scheme was announced almost two years ago as part of Budget 2016, but has yet to be established.