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  • Northside West

Calls for more housing land

Thursday, 18th January, 2018 8:00am
Calls for more housing land

CEO of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance, Hugh Brennan, speaking at the launch of the first project.

Calls for more housing land

CEO of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance, Hugh Brennan, speaking at the launch of the first project.

Adam Daly

DEMAND for a new development of affordable housing in Ballymun is already far outstripping supply with 1,160 people on the waiting list for just 32 houses due to be built by Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance.

Ó Cualann started building its first Ballymun estate in 2016 and because of the success of this project, demand for the latest scheme is increasing all the time, according to its chief executive Hugh Brennan.

‘’Every day since the announcement the demand is growing,” he said. “I could look at the emails from today alone and there is probably another 10 on it.” 

To qualify for the homes, that Ó Cualann hope to keep below €200,000, buyers must have incomes within specified limits, a 10 per cent deposit and mortgage approval in principle.

‘’Seventy per cent of people have to be from the North West area or within a certain distance from the site,” Brennan added.

“And the other 30 per cent can be from outside the area, just to provide a mix.” 

The co-op is able to keep its prices below market costs because it was sold the land by Dublin City Council.

For their first estate in Poppintree the council sold land to Ó Cualann for €1,000 per house plot. The same plots would have cost €20,000-€30,000 on the open market.

Brennan said that in Ballymun alone there are plots available for another 2,000 houses, and Ó Cualann has the capacity to build, if the land is made available. 

‘’If the 2,000 plots that are available in the Ballymun area were made available for affordable housing, that would increase the income in the Ballymun area by €13 million in a year,” Brennan told Northside People.

“That’s a huge amount of money that could go to developing the services in Ballymun.’’

Dublin North West TD, Dessie Ellis, says an affordable housing scheme would help that process but at the moment Ó Cualann are the ones leading the way.

“The big issue is that the Government has no affordable housing scheme and this is the only play in town, which is absolutely ridiculous,’’ Ellis said. 

Ó Cualann used the principles of an affordable housing scheme while building its first Ballymun estate in 2016, despite their being no State scheme in operation since 2011.

‘’The land needs to be made available and the local authorities in the Dublin area own enough sufficient land to build 12,00 houses,” said Brennan.

“So if that land can be made available to us, other co-ops or to the approved housing bodies, we can start building straight away.”

Last October Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the first Ó Cualann development had provided an “excellent model” from which he was developing a new national affordable housing scheme.

Last November the Minister said he was finalising details of the scheme, but they have yet to be published.

The introduction of a new scheme was announced almost two years ago as part of Budget 2016.

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