I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 37 together.
I thank the Deputy for the question. St. Michael’s Estate is one of three significant sites being brought forward by Dublin City Council under its housing land initiative, HLI, the aim of which is to ensure the delivery of mixed-tenure homes in the Dublin City Council functional area. All three sites under the HLI are identified as strategic development and regeneration areas within the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022.
Mixed-tenure developments are an important policy objective in the Government's Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness and uphold the principle of sustainable mixed communities where housing needs are not subject to rigid segregation based on income levels. They also provide an opportunity to see major sites developed more quickly, and integrated into existing communities and areas.
While I have not seen the details of the proposal referred to by the Deputy, I expect to meet those involved next week. However, I am very familiar with the approach which the city council is taking to the St. Michael’s project. This envisages the potential to yield a minimum of 420 mixed-tenure homes and the elected members of the city council have determined that the homes will be provided on the basis of a 30% social, 20% affordable, and 50% private tenure mix. The council also agreed the methodology for community consultation, as set out in the feasibility study presented to it via a community consultative forum.
In line with good governance procedures, a project board, which includes representation from my Department and the National Development Finance Agency, has been established and is working to progress the development of this site.
As regards the delivery of affordable homes from this site, while it is ultimately a matter for the elected members of the city council to decide whether these are affordable homes to purchase or are delivered as cost-rental homes, I firmly believe that there is a need to ensure that the rental sector, particularly in our cities and major urban areas, is accessible and affordable.
In order to do this, we need to invest in a different type of rental offering, a so-called cost-rental sector which operates between the social and private market sectors. We are learning from pilot projects and the examination of similar models operating elsewhere. My Department and I remain committed to working with Dublin City Council and other councils to ensure we make this a reality. We are working with the European Investment Bank and other key stakeholders with a view to announcing the first major cost rental project in Dublin city shortly, with a broader programme of cost rental projects across Dublin and other cities to follow.