Work restarts on modular homes after deal struck with Dublin City Council

Work on a project to provide the first modular homes in the country will resume today after Dublin City Council struck a deal with a number of local people who had been protesting over the plan.
Work restarts on modular homes after deal struck with Dublin City Council

The impasse over the construction of the homes had led to work on the project being suspended last Friday, casting doubt over whether they would be completed in time for Christmas.

The site at Baile na Laochra, Poppintree, north Dublin, is the location for construction of the first 22 modular homes, aimed at housing families and alleviating the homelessness crisis.

Under the plan, the homes were to be completed in time for 22 families to settle in before Christmas, with other sites to be completed in 2016 in locations such as Cherry Orchard, Coolock and Darndale, among others.

Issues developed involving a local, one-off-housing co-operative which, it is understood, had placed deposits with a view to moving into houses that could have been built on the same site.

Members of the local co-operative had, reportedly, lodged money with a view to eventually living on the site and, while it is believed some of those involved had come to an agreement with Dublin City Council, it is understood some members had not.

However, in a statement, Dublin City Council yesterday confirmed work would recommence this morning.

“An agreement in principle has been reached with Ó Cualann Housing Co-operative regarding the development of co-operative housing on the remainder of the site,” it said. “We understand that there is an agreement in place between the housing co-operatives involved on how to progress other outstanding issues.”

It is believed the council is still aiming to have the project completed in time for the families to move in before Christmas, even though a number of days on site were lost as a result of the protest action.

The need for the modular homes to be completed on time was among the issues raised by Mike Allen, director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, in an interview yesterday in which he also said the number of rough sleepers in Dublin was likely to show a significant decrease.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that a count, conducted in Dublin earlier this week, was likely to show around 60 people still sleeping rough, which represents a reduction in the typical number, due to the availability of 100 new beds in the city as part of the cold-weather initiative.

While the official figures will not be available for some time, Mr Allen welcomed the news of fewer people sleeping on the streets.

He said, however, that, a year after the death of Jonathan Corrie just yards from Leinster House, the “biggest issue” was that the number of families becoming homeless had doubled for the second consecutive year.

He said initiatives such as Housing First had been successful, but were being held back by a lack of access to housing stock.

Mr Allen also said the Government had “not done everything in its power” to tackle the housing crisis.

As for the Poppintree situation, he said: “Those protesters should not be blocking this. For those 22 families, this is going to make a big difference.”

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