Plans for 150 social homes in Dublin’s Ayrfield

Apartments, to be built using public private partnership, need approval from councillors

Unlike previous PPP models, the sites will stay in the ownership of the State and the developer will get payments for a 25-year period.  Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Unlike previous PPP models, the sites will stay in the ownership of the State and the developer will get payments for a 25-year period. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Plans for 150 social homes at Ayrfield in Dublin, one of the largest stand-alone housing scheme built by a local authority in decades, will be presented to Dublin city councillors next month.

Councillors will be asked to approve plans for the construction of the homes, all of which will be apartments, using a public private partnership (PPP) deal with a developer.

The apartments, on the site off the Malahide Road, will be the first large-scale PPPs pursued since the collapse of the developer-led social housing system nine years ago, and will be the first substantial new social housing development, built without a private housing component, in many years.

The Government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020, published in 2014, proposed returning to PPPs as an off-balance sheet mechanism to provide housing for local authority tenants.

Unlike previous PPP models, the sites will stay in the ownership of the State and the developer will get payments for a 25-year period, after which the houses or apartments return to State ownership, in what is known as an “availability-based” PPP model. The model has previously been used to build a number of roads, schools, court buildings and primary care centres.

Private finance

“The land in question is in public ownership, is appropriately zoned for residential use, and under this PPP model social housing can be delivered using private finance which is separate and additional to Exchequer funding,” the council said. “The PPP format allows more social housing to be built in the context of constrained State resources and in a time of chronic need.”

Almost 20,000 families and individuals are on the council’s housing waiting lists, more than 5,500 of whom are in the catchment area of the Ayrfield lands. In this area 44 per cent of families have been on the waiting list for more than five years.

Most of the apartments will be two-beds, with 50 one-beds and 19 three-bed apartments, in blocks ranging in height from three to six storeys. Senior citizens will be allocated 50 of the apartments. The types of apartments had been influenced by the nature and sized of households on the waiting list in the area, the council said.

A creche, multi-use games area, and three office buildings, one of which will be dedicated to community use, will be included in the development.

The council will seek a “project company” to build the development, once it has been approved by councillors.