“Smoke, Mirrors And Promises”

at


O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7; letter from Bartra Capital Property Group CEO Michael Flannery to Dublin City Council dated October 31, 2019

Further to a post yesterday about Dublin City Council’s controversial vote on a fresh €7million deal with Bartra Capital for the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin…

Journalist Lois Kapila, in Dublin Inquirer, has written a detailed account of that meeting on Monday night.

In her report, she refers to a letter sent from Bartra Capital Property Group CEO Michael Flannery to Dublin City Council dated October 31, 2019 (pictured above).

Ms Kapila reports:

The big change from last month, when councillors delayed voting and said they’d seek a better deal, and this month, when they voted to back the deal, was the offer of “affordable” rental housing on the site.

The deal on the table last month included 248 social homes, 165 “affordable” homes for sale, and 411 market-rate private homes.

After that, though, Bartra Capital Property CEO Michael Flannery said the company would be willing to enter into an “option arrangement” with the council, or its nominee, which would give the council the right to buy some or all of the 411 private “at the average prices per unit type” set out in Bartra’s final tender.

This could help, for example, the council or an AHB [approved housing body] get another 30 percent of the total units to use as an affordable or cost-rental scheme, the letter says.

To give Bartra certainty, the council and the Department of Housing would need to tell Bartra whether, and to what extent, it wants to exercise that option “within a reasonable timeframe” of signing the development agreement, Flannery’s letter says.

…. Independent Councillor Anthony Flynn said the agreement around the affordable rental was still smoke, mirrors, and promises – with nothing legal yet. “There’s no commitments,” he said. (Bartra’s letter isn’t legally binding.)

…Whether the Department of Housing will agree to help fund the affordable rental or cost-rental homes is unclear. Its press office hasn’t yet responded to queries about that, sent on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile…

Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, also refers to the letter.

In an analysis piece, Ms Kelly reports:

Bartra said it is willing to sell “some or all of the private units” to the council or its nominee.

Well of course. Why wouldn’t it be willing to get these guaranteed sales, particularly when, as it said in a letter to Mr Kenny, it would be at a “price to be determined by the preferred tenderer”.

Bartra said the price would be in line with what it is in its tender documents.

But it is not clear if this relates to the price of affordable homes, which was in the region of €420,000 before State subsidies are applied, or the private costs, which would see prices top €500,000.

Councillors Vote Through Deal to Redevelop O’Devaney Gardens After Fraught Debate (Lois Kapila, Dublin Inquirer)

O’Devaney Gardens gets the go-ahead, but questions remain (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Passed Under Garda Protection

3 thoughts on ““Smoke, Mirrors And Promises”

  1. Tea And Brexits

    Here we go again…

    IMO “affordable” housing depends on what you get for your 500K. Why not rebrand it “Stoneybatter Gardens, D7”? I would love to be able to live in that area, but cannot afford it.

    It’s an improvement over “the flats”. Mixed communities are ideal. Stoneybatter demographics need to be rebalanced in favour of locals (Dubs).

  2. Christopher

    If the council had just insisted that all units not for social housing could ONLY be sold to owner occupiers and not to REITs then I would have been in full support- filling up this city centre development with people unlikely to have ever worked a day in their life is just a recipe for O’Devanney Gardens mark 2.

    1. V

      Exactly

      And its not an unknown condition within well established Council operations; limiting the purchasers to Owner Occupiers only

      The older Shared Mortgage Schemes, you might remember them being called Council Mortgages; had this condition attached
      Also many of the original Council sales to their then Tenants also had that condition attached

      Basically, anyone who got the support of a LA Mortgage to purchase a property had to be the whole time resident, and or if they were current tenants who went on to purchase their Home from the Council, either by way of a Shared Mortgage or a private Mortgage, or even without the support of finance (own funds for instance); also had the obligation to be owner occupiers themselves, and when the time came they could only sell to another owner occupier.

Comments are closed.