Tag Archives: social housing


Fingal, County Dublin

Liam Coughlan in his new home in the Peter McVerry Trust Ravenswood social housing development.

The scheme is the charity’s first greenfield development consisting of eight one bed homes together with a small community building specifically designed for single people with the most complex needs.

Top from left: Fingal councillor Anthony Lavin, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust Pat Doyle, Director of Housing Margaret Gerety, Fingal Mayor Anthony Lavin , Liam Coughlan and Peter McVerry.

In fairness.

Peter McVerry Trust

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Capital Dock, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the tallest apartment block in Ireland. Kennedy Wilson plans to include no social housing in the complex, but instead to provide its social housing obligations in Rialto

There will be no social housing in property investment company Kennedy Wilson’s new Capital Dock apartment scheme on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, and that just 1 per cent of social homes designated for the docklands have been provided because of high costs.

….Under the planning laws, developers must provide 10 per cent of any development of 10 homes or more to local authorities at a discounted price.

Changes made in 2015 mean councils can no longer take cash from the developer instead of social housing, but they can take homes or land at another location.

…The department [of Housing] requires [Dublin City Council] council to stay within average costs of €286,300 for one-bedroom apartments or €372,100 for two-beds within any development. However, it must not pay over a ceiling of €400,800 or €469,500 respectively for any one or two-bed apartment.

Social housing price caps need to be dropped for docklands (Irish Times)


This morning

Amid protests, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, above with Green Party Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Councillor Ossian Smyth (left) and new resident Marie Miesczcyk, presides over the the official opening of 44 New Social Homes at Rosemount Court, Dundrum, Dublin 14.

Only 299,956 left to go.


Sam Boal/RollingNews

This morning.

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar officially opens 42 new social homes at Stormanstown House, Ballymun Road, Dublin 9 on  on behalf of the Oaklee Housing Trust.

Forty two.

More as we get it.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews


Jump, etc.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined by  Damien English, Minister of State at the Department of Housing Stormanstown House this morning.


This afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the opening of the O’Devaney Gardens project in Dublin 7.

It will see the “development of just under 700 social, affordable and private homes on this site”.

Demolition work is e expected to be completed this week.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Friday:The Lost Gardens


This afternoon.

Little Britain Street, Dublin 2

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy launches De Paul’s  2017 Annual Report in the homelessness charity’s hostel in the Rotunds

Good times.


The demolition of St Teresa’s Gardens complex in Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin in September 2016

Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, reports:

The long-awaited construction of 54 social homes at St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin’s southwest inner city is projected to cost €26.5 million, or almost €500,000 per home.

…The development, which was to be the first phase in the construction of more than 500 homes, was expected to cost €15 million, of which €4-€6 million was to be spent on the demolition and refurbishment work….

Good times.

Social homes on council land to cost €500,000 each to build (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Chartered Land’s Lansdowne Place development

Kitty Holland, in The Irish Times, reports:

The developer behind an exclusive new housing development in Dublin will not be providing any social housing on-site.

In the move, approved by Dublin City Council, Chartered Land developments has bought a block of apartments in Ringsend for social housing rather than provide such housing at its prestigious new Lansdowne Place development of apartments and penthouses in Ballsbridge.

… Up to 2015, under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 developers had to provide 20 per cent of units in a development to the local authority at a reduced rate for social housing. Developers could, however, make a financial contribution or provide land elsewhere to the council to fulfil their Part V obligations.

Amendments to the Act in 2015, intended to end this practice of developers “buying their way out” of the Part V rules reduced the Part V requirement to 10 per cent but also removed the “buy-out” options.

There is a provision, however, in the amended regulations that developers may, “subject to the agreement of the planning authority”, instead “transfer…units on site or off site” to the local authority.

…Housing analyst Lorcan Sirr said while he could understand the “pragmatism” of the council’s approach, “it shows how fluid a concept ‘social mix’ really is”.

“It seems to be absolutely crucial in poorer places like O’Devaney Gardens, but not so in Ballsbridge. It also throws into sharp relief the consequences of the State relying on the private sector to provide social housing it should be providing itself.”

Developer not providing social housing at Ballsbridge site (Kitty Holland, The Irish Times)

Pics: Chartered Land

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and  Joella Dhlamini unveil the stone to mark 84 new social homes Clongriffin, Dublin Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy at left

This morning.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar unveiled the foundation stone for 84 new social homes Clongriffin, Dublin.

Moments later…




Joella Dhlamini spent World Children’s Day with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as part of UNICEF’s Global #KidsTakeOver initiative

RTE reports:

A teenager from Drogheda is to give the Taoiseach a graphic account of the everyday racism she experiences in Ireland.

Joella Dhlamini, who is originally from South Africa, was chosen by UNICEF to represent the views of the children of Ireland after she entered a competition to describe the one change for children she would like to see.

The teenager, who was born in Soweto, in Johannesburg, wrote about the racist abuse she and her family have encountered since moving to Ireland three years ago.

Drogheda teen to tell Taoiseach of racism she experiences (RTE)

Top pics: Sam Boal/Rollingnews



From top Fine Gael Meath County Councillor Alan Tobin; Clúid social housing in Meath

The prospect of new social housing in Ashbourne, County Meath is a hoodie-filled horror, warns a Fine Gael councillor.

Ashbourne resident Martin McMahon begs to differ.

Martin writes

Almost a year ago, Fine Gael councillor Alan Tobin, incurred the wrath of dog owners world wide when he announced the erection of signs in Ashbourne, County Meath warning of “Dangerous Breeds of Dogs”.

Barely chastened by that experience, Alan has launched his latest campaign, this time to warn us ‘Snowflake’ Asbournians about “Dangerous Breeds of Human”.

Alan was triggered by the announcement of a new development of 67 houses. The houses are being built in an estate which will be managed by the Clúid Housing Agency with tenants coming from the Meath County Council housing list. Clúid Housing is the largest housing association in Ireland, delivering 155 homes to date in Meath.

Clúid Housing spokesperson Lucinda Murrihy said

“Meath County Council informed us of the need for affordable housing in the area, and supported us in achieving the funding. We conducted a sustainable development audit, as per the Department’s requirements, and all stakeholders agreed that the proposed scheme would be an excellent addition to the local community.”

Clúid are working closely with Meath County Council to ensure a positive mix of tenure; including older people, families, single people, and people with disabilities

In a piece to the Meath Chronicle Alan presented his apocalyptic vision of what was to come:

“In 10 years time, will this estate in Archerstown, Ashbourne next to Ashbourne Golf Club and White Ash Park be an additional no-go area riddled with drugs, burnt out cars, high levels of state dependency and crime?”

In his self-promotional leaflet delivered to Ashbourne Residents this week, Alan answered his own question with:

“Estates similar to this one in Dublin and elsewhere in Meath have proved to encourage unemployment black spots, antisocial behaviour and a ‘them and us’ mentality that we do not want to promote in Ashbourne”

Contrary to this hick hiding behind a haystack with pitchfork in hand yelling “Strangers a comin'” image of Ashbourne evoked by Alan’s fears, Ashbourne is a great place.

We are a hugely diverse community.

My neighbours and friends hark from places as far scattered as Dublin, Thailand, Estonia, Poland, America and on and on. In a very short period, our community has grown from a sleepy village to a substantial stand alone Town fifteen minutes from the M50.

There are already about 3,000 houses in Ashbourne, 67 more beside the golf club won’t tip us over into Armageddon.

There is no ‘them and us’ area in Ashbourne, you can walk through anywhere you want at any time you want, without fear.

You won’t meet a boy with a banjo on the way in, you’ll meet a solid welcoming community, so come on over, we’re happy to have you.

Martin blogs at RamshornRepublic


From top: the Committee on Housing and Homelessness launching the Report of the Committee on Housing and Homelessness in Leinster House today; Dr Rory Hearne

Further to Nama Wine Lake’s analysis last night.

While the focus is on an ‘off-balance’ sheet mechanism to fund social housing we could be facing a situation where there are over 3,000 homeless by this time next year.

Dr Rory Hearne writes:

There is a lot of criticism of the political system in Ireland, and particularly the elected TDs and how the Dáil goes about its business, for being ineffective and a waste of time.

The newly formed Committee on Housing and Homelessness has shown what politicians can achieve. The committee was only set up two months ago, in April, “to review the implications of the problems of housing and homelessness, and to make recommendations in that regard”.

And this is vital and urgent work. The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive provides regular updates of the homeless figures in Dublin and the most recent ones from April show this crisis is just getting worse.

Their infographic below reveals that in April, there were 888 families with 1,786 children in homeless accommodation in Dublin. The number of children is almost double what it was just a year earlier.


At this rate of increase in homelessness we could be facing a situation where there are over 3,000 homeless by this time next year. A shocking prospect.

The Committee on Housing and Homelessness has had presentations over the last two months from a broad range of organisations, groups and individuals involved in housing.

These included the housing charities (Peter McVerry TrustFocus IrelandSimon Communities of Ireland, Threshold), also representatives of excluded groups (Irish Refugee CouncilPavee Point), the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, the Residents of Tyrellstown affected by evictions from the vulture funds.

The policy decision makers and funders also presented including the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the Department of Finance, NAMA, the Housing Finance Agency, the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Finance, and the Irish Property Owners Association, the Irish League of Credit Unions and the Construction Industry Federation.

Interesting individual experts such as  the Master of the High Court Edmund HonohanProfessor PJ Drudy, and the Mercy Law Resource Centre also presented.

There are groups who are very active at a grassroots level – such as Housing Action Now and the Irish Housing Network – who do not appear to have presented to the committee which is unfortunate given their ‘on-the-ground’ experience of supporting those most affected by the crisis and their innovative ideas on potential solutions.

The quality of debate at the committee meetings was very high and there was a substantial amount of really important information provided on the facts about the housing crisis, the different groups affected and potential solutions to the crisis.

All the submissions and the discussions at the committee are very interesting and you can read them all on the Oireachtas website here.

For example, during its hearing on May 31, the NTMA and the Department of Finance made a presentation on the issue of our ability to borrow (while staying within the EU fiscal rules) in order fund the provision of much-needed social housing.

The NTMA (the National Treasury Management Agency) manages our National Debt and various funds such as the Infrastructure Investment Ireland Fund (which is what used to be the National Pension Reserve Fund) and borrows on behalf of the Government.

The NTMA explained that Ireland’s debt levels (the debt to GDP ratio) have fallen from 120% to 94% but our absolute level of debt, at over €200 billion, is four times what it was in 2007.

And the annual interest that we must pay on this debt is close to €7 billion (which was just €2 billion in 2007).

European fiscal rules require Ireland to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio by roughly 5% per annum.

But due to our economic growth rates we are achieving this and therefore, there is ‘fiscal space under the debt-reduction rule’ that could allow us borrow more while staying within the EU rules.

But the debt is only one of three rules.

The other two relate to government expenditure benchmark and the ‘balanced budget’ rule. This means that if we borrow to spend or invest directly by the government (or local authority which is considered a state agency), for example in social housing, it affects our public spending limits.

But if we borrow and invest it through a non-government body on a commercial basis it does not affect public spending limits as it is considered by EUROSTAT (the European agency that defines if we are breaking the rules or not) to be ‘off-balance-sheet’ spending.

This is why pretty much the sole focus of the Department of Housing, Finance and Government has been trying to find ‘off-balance’ sheet mechanisms that allow investment not affect the rules.

But there is a very obvious issue here that requires clarification. If you increase spending on an area, like social housing, and fund this through an equivalent increase in taxation, then surely nothing changes in terms of the budget deficit?

Now if the planned abolition of the USC was going to cost us approximately €4bn then surely that could be paused which would then leaves a number of billions that could be invested in social housing provision and not require borrowing or lead to a breaching of EU rules?

The committee will present its final report today.

It will be well worth a read to see what’s in it.

Dr Rory Hearne is a policy analyst, academc, social justice campaigner. He writes here in a personal capacity. Follow Rory on Twitter: @roryhearne

Yesterday Nama Winer Lake Writes