The former head of the housing agency has described plans for the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens, once one of Dublin city’s most troubled social housing estates, as “the perfect mix”.
Conor Skehan, who is a housing lecturer in Technological University Dublin, welcomed the decision by Dublin City Councillors to ratify a €7m deal with developers Bartra earlier this week.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast Mr Skehan said that experience has shown that a mix of social and private housing is the best option. The situation where people felt they could not use their address when applying for a job because of stigma must end, he said.
“There needs to be a substantial social mix.”
The key issue about housing in Ireland now and in Dublin in particular is not just availability, but affordability, he added.
There needs to be a new vision for social housing, he said. It should be provided, not just for people who are homeless, but for people who work in the community such as doctors, nurses and gardaí who need to live near where they work and cannot afford to do so at present.
“We need new social tenants,” he said.
He described the regeneration plans for O’Devaney Gardens as a success story. “This is a pretty perfect mix.”