State asked for €500,000 each for six social housing apartments

The State has been quoted a cost of €536,638 for a one-bed apartment to be made available for social housing, in a development in South Dublin, the Irish Examiner can reveal.

In total, the taxpayer has been handed a bill of €3.5m for just six social housing apartments to be provided in a proposed development of 63 homes at the back of Oatlands College, Mount Merrion.

The revelation comes a week after Housing Minister Simon Coveney launched his Action Plan for Housing and days after it emerged that Transport Minister Shane Ross has opposed a new housing development in the Mount Merrion area.

According to planning documents, seen by the Irish Examiner, it is proposed that the developer would provide four one-bed apartments and two two-bed apartments.

The planning application documents state that the developer, Balark Investment Limited, would need to charge €671,485 for each of the two-bed apartments, as part of laws to provide 10% of all new units for social housing.

According to the documents, the developer said it complied with Department of the Environment guidelines in calculating the costs. “We wish to confirm that we have used the methodology in the department’s circular to estimate the costs,” the documents state.

The Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesman on finance and former councillor for the area, Gerry Horkan, said it would be “daft” to commit such a large amount of taxpayers’ money.

“Surely the wisdom of paying more than half a million euro for a one-bed apartment and almost €700,000 for a two-bed apartment has to be questioned,” he said.

“You could spend that kind of money in places very close by and get multiples of this number of homes.”

In response to detailed queries, a spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said: “No decision has been made in respect of this planning application as yet.”

The proposed development includes the proposed demolition of the former Oatlands Monastery and other derelict buildings on the site.

It is also proposed to demolish a nearby house in order to provide access to the new estate.


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