Reveal of €40m Cork apartment block plan pulled over delay to 'Housing for All'

Deal will provide 88 apartments at Cork city’s Lancaster Quay for cost-rental and social homes
Reveal of €40m Cork apartment block plan pulled over delay to 'Housing for All'

A tower crane iin position at the CField Construction site for the Lancanster Gate Development of Blocks D & E on Western Rd, Cork City. Picture: Larry Cummins

Plans to announce a €30 to €40m deal to provide 88 apartments at Cork city’s Lancaster Quay for cost-rental and social homes were pulled at the last moment as the Government confirmed delays in its Housing for All programme.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had been due to announce today that 73 cost rental apartments and 15 social homes were to be built by O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) next to its completed blocks at Lancaster Quay.

The deal with housing body Clúid, which is set to provide Cork’s first cost rental scheme where rents typically are 25% less than market rents, has a provisional timeline for completion by the end of 2022.

Earlier this month Clúid, a registered not-for-profit charity, launched the country’s first cost rental scheme in Balbriggan, north county Dublin, where rents for 25 units range from €935 to €1,150 per month.

A crane to facilitate construction of the Cork project went up on the Lancaster Quay site this week, with the 88 apartments to be built in two blocks.

It will be the first non-student accommodation apartment development being built in Cork in 13 years, due to the widely-reported financial non-viability of apartments in most urban locations, due to delivery costs of up to and over €400,000 per unit.

OCP had restarted work on this site 500m from Grand Parade in January 2020, aiming to rent them to the high-end/corporate sector but swiftly pulled back due to on-going viability concerns.

At that time, OCP indicated that rents from private sector tenants would have to average over €2,000 per month, and said it was only viable because of the site/base works already in place.

The Clúid deal, waiting for final confirmation after meetings with local stakeholders next week and possibly some final drafting of the Housing for All programme, will see it take charge of the 88 apartments, designed with 11 one-bed units, 15 three-beds and 62 two-beds, with the majority, some 73, for the new, emerging cost rental sector.

Fifteen others will be made available under social housing provisions, it is understood.

Eligibility for cost-rental housing includes people earning less than €53,000 a year, who do not qualify for or are not in receipt of any social housing supports and those who don’t already own a property.

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