The Houses That Alan Built


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Acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly outside the newly built modular homes in Ballymun yesterday

Further to yesterday’s forum on housing and homelessness in Dublin, during which acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly claimed the constitution prevented him from fixing the housing crisis…

Ellen Coyne, in The Times Ireland edition, writes:

Mr Kelly, according to himself, is an unsung hero who tried to save us all from vulture funds, mean landlords and undesirable developers. The whole time that the media and homelessness charities were claiming government inaction on the issue, Mr Kelly was trying again and again to pass remedying legislation, only to be foiled every time by that nefarious constitution.

“I didn’t have to do this [forum],” Mr Kelly said nobly. “I was under no obligation.”

…Mr Kelly stood beaming and posing outside one of the [modular] houses [in Ballymun] as if he was about to start hosting his own episode of Room to Improve.

“The minister will take some questions on modular housing first,” Mr Kelly’s special adviser said.

“Temporary housing,” Mr Kelly interjected.

You’re not supposed to use “modular housing” for the “fast build” homes, which are finally almost finished, over budget and well over deadline. They cost more than other properties for sale in the area, and there are concerns that they looked suspiciously more like permanent, normal houses where people could end up living for years.

“I’m not a developer,” Mr Kelly pleaded.

Neither were any of the journalists but most of them noticed something strange about the houses. Is it normal for temporary housing to be made of bricks?

“No,” Bríd McGrath, the head of social policy for Respond Housing Association, said.

The houses are very warm and nice and big. A bit like ministerial offices, only a tad smaller, one presumes.

“I’d say they’ll have problems getting people out of these,” Ms McGrath said as the camera flashes exploded around a temporary minister who, unfortunately, doesn’t have the option of staying put.

I tried to save you, insists unsung hero as he scuttles for the door (Ellen Coyne, The Times Ireland edition)

Previously: ‘There Was No Concrete Plan’

Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews

68 thoughts on “The Houses That Alan Built

    1. ReproBertie

      They cost €190K which is less than the average €200K cost of a new build in Dublin.

      1. Anne

        They’re portacabins… and the article mentioned that they cost more than any of the houses built in the area.

        Averages also don’t mean all that much.

          1. Tish Mahorey

            Brick render Editor. Not built from bricks. Of course, you know that but pretend not to.

        1. ReproBertie

          They’re not portacabins. They’re timber framed houses and, according to the SF councillor I heard on RTÉ yesterday, were more expensive than the originally proposed modular homes (as they are of better quality) but cheaper than the average Dublin build.

          1. ReproBertie

            It was Morning Ireland yesterday and I’ve listened to the piece back on podcast. Turns out it was actually Councillor Daithí Doolan (SF) who gave the figures while Councillors Edel Moran (SF) and Noeleen Reilly (SF) were singing the praises of the houses. Councillor Doolan also stressed that they are not portacabins and they meet every standard and EU building regulation.

          2. Anne

            Ok thanks.. I’ll have a listen laher on n see what they were sh*tin’ on about.. cruel and unusual punishment for a friday evening one might say. :)
            (I’m thinking of heading to Batman Versus Superman movie actually… but I’ll fit them in at some stage)

            Got the link handy there by any chance?

        2. ReproBertie

          It’s only about 5 minutes long:

          Do you want me to book your cinema tickets as well? ;)

          1. Anne

            They’re no longer modular houses, they’re rapid houses. Rapid innit.

            Doolen says they didn’t want to go for the cheap and cheerful version.. that they come under the 200k average *price* of a new build in Dublin, so they are coming in under the average cost, he then says.
            Price and cost are two different things like..ffs

            No mention of where he gets that figure from.
            Is it an average per sq metre, or an average based on new build for houses regardless of their size. He doesn’t mention the size of these rapid houses like..
            I would imagine an average figure for Dublin for anything would be very skewed btw.

      2. classter

        Is €200K actually the average cost of a new-build in Dublin?

        It really should not cost that much.

        One of the big failings of the previous govt is that they seemed to do absolutely nothing about the cost of living. It didn’t seem to feature at all. There are all sorts of measures in building as in other areas which could reduce the cost of living without necessarily cutting salaries for existing workers.

      3. kellma

        yes but one may buy bigger houses in the same area for much less. In Balbriggan (where the next lot are meant to go) you can buy a normal sized 3 bed for 160k-170k.

  1. Anne

    “I didn’t have to do this [forum],” Mr Kelly said nobly. “I was under no obligation.”

    Ah here.. He’s only a fupping female genital.

    Yeah Alan you shouldn’t have bothered.. a media circus won’t solve the housing crisis. It was a ploy to seem like you’re on top of it, when you haven’t a bull’s fupping notion what you’re doing or talking about, ya arrogant chump.

    What experience does he have in terms of housing? Any at all like? Fupp to fupp off with you’re not under any obligation.. you goon.

    Sorry, this makes me slightly angry. Absolutely no attempt to do anything about this.

  2. Anne

    “The minister will take some questions on modular housing first,” Mr Kelly’s special adviser said.

    Well done on the portacabins Alan.. How’d ya get um so cheap like? You didn’t have to do that either Alan..You the man Alan.

  3. joy personified

    They are not modular houses and bear no resemblance to the sample units built last year at the East Wall site, 2 of which were of exceptional quality. They are timber framed houses.

    1. 15 cents

      hands up how many ministers have composed BS articles? .. its not how the world works you massive dope. its kellys JOB to take care of the housing crisis, or was .. and he did it badly. its not BS editors jobs to do that. going by your logic, if i find a nail in my lunch later, i cant complain to Centra, because ive never made sandwhiches in a deli.

      1. Tired old refrain

        thanks for clarifying that

        what if you have obvious learning difficulties and lack of empathy as shown in your internet rantings?

        Should you get a free house then or be placed back in the community at all?

    2. 15 cents

      although now i really think you are alan .. he uses the same logic .. “im not a developer” ..

  4. 15 cents

    even with bertie knowingly breaking the country for his own greed, or cowen overseeing it and letting it happen, and then both being so dismissive of the whole thing as a final insult .. alan kelly is still my most hated politician. now id step into a ring and fight bertie, cowen, or kelly any ol time. i think cowen could be hard to bait, like tryna kill a big cow with a spoon. arduous, but he’d fall sooner or later. bertie, pff, no problem there, id just draw it out for a while. kelly i think could be a hard fight. and i’d say hes filthy too. he’d be goin for yer nuts and throwin sand in yer eyes, that sort of thing. but id still like to give it a go, make it happen alan! if you’re reading .. whatever needs to be set up for a death match .. set that poo .. up!

    1. 15 cents

      hahaha “poo” .. editor changing it to that kinda takes the sting out of it, absolute gold tho

  5. Fergus the magic postman

    There was always that one guy in school, who was simply an unlikeable bum hole at all times, and it was obvious he would always be that way.
    As it was unlikely anybody would remain in contact with this person after finishing school, Alan Kelly offers a window to see how such a swinging helmet would behave as an adult.

    1. Tired old refrain

      yes and didn’t he do well for himself?

      made government minister and all

      your bullying nature is counter-productive and makes me uneasy

        1. classter

          I dislike Alan Kelly but ‘Tired Old Refrain’ is correct. That kind of juvenile nastiness is counter-productive.

          Also, comparing him to Cosby is rather ridiculous even if you are merely trying to illustrate the tired & obvious point that not all successful people are nice.

          1. Anne

            Counter-productive to what? The times article ridculed him more. He’s a self important know nothing.

          2. Fergus the magic postman

            I would counter that Mr. power is a drug and if suits me, & I’m my own boss Kelly is the nasty one.
            It’s pretty clear to most that he’s an A1 AHole, and likely has been from his early days. To declare my pointing this out to be nasty is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. As for counter productive… well I’m not paid by the electorate to be productive while sneering and laughing in their faces, so sue me.

            I don’t like her, but leave Britney alone.

          3. Tired old refrain

            Actually the point made Fergus is the fact that both Mr KELLY and yourself appear to have an unsavoury belittling aspect to your character

          4. Fergus the magic postman

            @Tired old refrain:
            Mr. Kelly’s actions effect me and the rest of the electorate. We have been paying his inflated wages.
            I think he’s an A1 Ahole, as do many others, and I don’t mind saying it. One would argue that he needs to be brought back down to earth, as I suspect from his celebrations, the fact that he only scraped a seat seems to have eluded him. He also played a major roll in his party finding itself where it does currently.

            You on the other hand are defending him by pointing out how well he has done for himself, which says a lot about you and how you rate people.

          5. Tired old refrain

            Thank you Fergus for clarifying what I’m saying. This is just further evidence of your bullying nature by the way, you didn’t like what I said so sought to amend it to something I didn’t say.
            Unfortunately you’re incorrect. I’m not defending Alan at all, I don’t know the man but I’m also perfectly able to observe that what you and he have in common is a bullying belittling nature.
            As for Alan’s policies I agree he achieved little. However I am mature enough to realise that the current housing crisis is the logical outcome of decades of poor strategic housing policy, expecting someone of Alan’s poor calibre to fix it is absurd as is picking on aspects of his character because you met some people at school you didn’t like. Incidentally did your former schoolmates like you Fergus? Inquiring minds want to know.

      1. Anne

        Your lack of capitalisation of your sentences and full stops (that’d be one of these – . ) makes me uneasy Sybil. Can’t you stick to the one arsefestering personality no? You can do it.

        1. Tired old refrain

          Anne I’m afraid you’re one of those people as Fergus alludes to who are simply nasty beyond redemption and were always earmarked for a career in vitriol.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            …but wait, hold on.
            You’ve been saying I’m a nasty bully for making such an allusion about Alan Kelly. I’d go so far as to say you seem to have a real issue with it.
            Yet, you seem fine, not only with using it against Anne, but expanding on what I was saying, clarifying it even. Weird huh?

          2. Tired old refrain

            Well that was a little test you see – you failed btw.
            I was testing your integrity and ethical standards.

            So Fergus, when you used this mode of discourse to belittle Alan it was kosher but when I use it to belittle Anne it’s beyond the Pale?
            That’s your contention, right?

          3. Fergus the magic postman

            Nope. That’s a FAIL for you I’m afraid.
            You were the one who had the real problem with the mode of discourse as you call it, and then decided to use it for your own argument.
            Your blatant, and frankly pathetic attempts then to try and turn the tables, exposes you as no more than the silly troll you likely are.

          4. Tired old refrain

            I think folks reading will be well able to draw their own conclusions on that Fergie baby

        2. Fergus the magic postman

          Yup. They’ll likely think you’re either an idiot, troll, Mrs. Kelly, Alan himself, or if they take into account everywhere you’ve contradicted yourself, Lucinda Creightin.

  6. Eoin

    Government should really stay out of markets. Stay out of property and let the market do it’s own thing. 190k for a porta cabin. Can they do NOTHING right in this bloody country?

    1. Tish Mahorey

      Leaving housing to the ‘market’ is what caused the glut, then the shortage.

      Homes are more important than a few people making millions from housing.

    2. Anne

      As McWilliams has wrote..

      ‘There seems to be a lot of ideology involved in this debate. The mainstream economics profession and the property/landlord lobby appear to argue that we shouldn’t introduce rent controls because it interferes with the “free market” or the status quo. But this is silly because the market isn’t free; it is rigged at every stage and the “status quo” doesn’t deliver stability but delivers massive instability.

      If we really want a free market in housing, we should scrap all tax breaks to property, stop allowing debt interest costs to be deducted from tax liabilities, stop any tax incentive into any form of building, introduce “use it or lose it” schemes in planning, introduce “non-recourse” mortgages and address a whole variety of other legacy interventions in this most tampered with market.

      Until these are done, signaling out rent control as being uniquely distortive smacks of ideology, group think and a weakness for thinking economics is a pure science when in fact is it far from that.’

      “Most tampered with” “rigged at every stage” … e.g. NAMA – One big tampering of a cluster fupp of interfering in da morket.

      1. Baz

        You reference this McWilliams as if he has made notable achievements or is recognised amongst his professional peers – he hasn’t and isn’t.

        McWilliams is a professional angry man specialising in populist tabloid waffle and if you think he has the answers, well then, bless you.

        1. Anne

          He doesn’t come across as angry at all and he has plenty of achievements…

          I don’t know recognition from his professional you mean the ones that didn’t write about the fact that we in the middle of a property bubble that was about to crash? Those peers?

          I think it was himself and Morgan Kelly who were the only ones warning people. I suppose you would have classed him as angry back then too.. Go way out of it and troll someone else.

    3. scottser

      On the contrary, the state should invest in factories producing low cost quality housing in each county and run them in the national interest. Screw the developers, speculators and builders.

      1. Anne

        We could be like a nation of pikeys in our fancy caravans, the envy of all pikeys the world over.

        1. Tired old refrain

          This is the kind of comment that underlines the point I made above Anne. Hilarity ensues when we see you trying to “take down ” your intellectual opponents on this forum by whining about the language they use yet you feel empowered to use racist epithets yourself.

          1. Anne

            Your analysis of comments is very boring Sybil.
            I’m not taking down anyone. I think we can do better than a ton of portacabins/rapid houses everywhere..(although the rapid houses seem of a better quality than the portacabins) I’ve had this discussion with Scottser before and unlike you he has a sense of humour.. so trot along now and do you little analysis elsewhere. Sorry if you find that nasty now, I don’t give a rat’s ass.

          2. Tired old refrain

            I don’t find it particularly nasty Anne as I don’t expect you to be capable of anything better.
            Thanks for clarifying your point but please explain how you were only able to couch your attempts at “humour” in singularly racist terms?
            After all we all know how much you abhor name-calling princess.

  7. Tarfton Clax

    I’d say they’ll have problems getting people out of these,” Ms McGrath said

    Fierce witty.

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