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  • Northside East

Support urged for council’s housing aims 

Friday, 12th July, 2019 8:00am
Support urged for council’s housing aims 

The Vienna Model of Public Housing exhibition returns for a second showing at Dublin’s Civic Office until July 26. Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe (right), John O’Connor, chief executive of the Housing Agency and Dr Daithí Downey, Head of Housing Policy Research and Development with Dublin City

Support urged for council’s housing aims 

The Vienna Model of Public Housing exhibition returns for a second showing at Dublin’s Civic Office until July 26. Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe (right), John O’Connor, chief executive of the Housing Agency and Dr Daithí Downey, Head of Housing Policy Research and Development with Dublin City

A NORTHSIDE councillor is urging Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to provide Dublin City Council with the funding and the freedom to implement a model that will greatly increase affordable housing in the capital. 

Cllr Alison Gilliland (Lab), who represents the Artane Whitehall Local Electoral Area (LEA), made the call after an exhibition of the Vienna Model of Public Housing was opened in Dublin City Council’s offices in Wood Quay.

The model, adopted by Dublin City Councillors earlier this year, provides a sustainable template for the city to increase local authority affordable housing. 

Cllr Gilliland said a key element of the Vienna Model is the role of the local authority in planning, designing and building housing that suits local spaces and local housing needs. 

“We also agree that we need a local authority answer to our housing crisis and this module provides a template for that,” she told Northside People.  

“However, without the appropriate funding and autonomy, Dublin City Council cannot realise the potential of this module and bring affordable housing on the scale that’s needed to our city. 

“At present we have to work through a very complex and time-consuming project approval process with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government. 

“This process duplicates roles on projects and slows down the process with many projects taking years to get final approval.”

Cllr Gilliland added: “The Minister needs to trust the capabilities of Dublin City Council and afford them the funding and autonomy need to utilise the Vienna Model to ramp up affordable housing in our city.” 

The Department of Housing Planning and Local Government said in order to support local authorities in delivering affordable homes, €310 million is being made available from 2019 until 2021 under the Serviced Site Fund (SSF).  

This €310 million is made up of €275 million Exchequer contribution and €35 million local authorities (89 percent and 11 percent local authorities’ contribution).

The SSF will fund facilitating infrastructure, on local authority sites. At a maximum funding rate of €50,000 per affordable home, approximately 6,200 will be facilitated in total.

A spokesperson for the Department told Northside People: “The combination of this fund and the significantly increased funding for the social housing programme will also open up more significant opportunities for larger mixed-tenure developments on local authority land and the Department will continue to engage proactively with local authorities to accelerate the delivery of such projects.”

The Department said that in December 2018, an initial 10 projects, with the potential for 1,400 affordable homes, were approved with an allocation of €43 million under the first call for proposals under the SFF.  

These include three projects submitted by Dublin City Council, which have the potential for 350 affordable homes. Work will continue with the relevant local authorities to further develop the other five projects submitted.

Meanwhile, in a second call, in order to target affordable interventions, local authorities completed financial/economic assessments of each of their sites (not allocated to social housing only) to assess whether provision of affordable homes is economically viable.  

Local authorities were also asked to assess the broader housing affordability within their area. Twenty local authorities returned economic assessments to the Department.

The spokesperson said the closing date for applications under the second call was May 17 2019.

“Thirty-one submissions from 15 local authorities (including one submission from Dublin City Council) have been made under this second call,” added the spokesperson. 

“Cumulatively these 31 submissions have the potential to deliver over 2,200 affordable units, based on funding of €90 million. It is intended to issue approvals under this second call in the coming weeks.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here