Over €16m spent renovating 10 homeless family hubs

More than €2.7m spent refurbishing one family hub with 25 units in Crumlin

Viking Lodge, a former hotel and pub on Merchants Quay, cost €1.6 million to convert into a hub for 30 families. Photograph: Google Street View

Viking Lodge, a former hotel and pub on Merchants Quay, cost €1.6 million to convert into a hub for 30 families. Photograph: Google Street View

 

Dublin City Council has spent more than €16.8 million refurbishing 10 properties as family homeless hubs.

A former Irish Probation Service building on the Clonard Road, Crumlin, cost €2.7 million to renovate for use as a hub to provide 25 bedrooms and ensuite units for families, coming to €108,000 per unit.

Family hubs have been used as longer-term housing for homeless families, as an alternative to staying in hotel or B&B rooms on a night-by-night basis.

Details of the cost of converting the 10 properties into suitable accommodation were obtained from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive under the Freedom of Information Act.

The State is renting the properties in most cases, with lease agreements in place for nine of the 10 hubs.

In most cases Dublin City Council will rent former hotels or hostels, and the executive will convert them into hubs by adding family play areas, support worker office space and kitchen and dining areas.

Many of the properties were previously used for emergency accommodation, including Lynam’s Hotel on O’Connell Street. The council spent €2.2 million renovating the former hotel, now renamed Anna Livia, which provides rooms to 38 families.

Stripping out the bar

Viking Lodge

A spokeswoman for the homeless executive, which oversees the hub projects, said “unfortunately” the local authority would not know the amount of necessary internal work required to fit out buildings as a hub “prior to works commencing”. She said “the true nature of the works become apparent when opening-up works commence”.