I propose to take Questions Nos. 43, 44, 54, 63 and 71 together.
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 of Rebuilding Ireland 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.
The approach which the City Council is taking to the St. Michael’s project envisages the potential to yield over 400 mixed-tenure homes and the City Council has determined that the homes will be provided on the basis of a 30% social, 20% affordable, and 50% private tenure mix. The council has also agreed the methodology for community consultation, as set out in the feasibility study presented through 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 City Council to decide whether these are to be 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. In that regard, we are learning from pilot projects and the examination of similar models operating elsewhere.
Dublin City Council, my Department and the NDFA have at this point carried out detailed modelling and financial appraisal on this site, to assess its suitability for a significant cost rental development. The work of that multi-disciplinary team is at an advanced stage.
In addition, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has under consideration the development of in excess of 500 homes at their Shanganagh Castle site, comprising a mix of tenures, including social and affordable homes. This ambitious proposal can deliver a new residential neighbourhood, including houses, apartments and duplexes and all associated infrastructure, including roads, footpaths, services and landscaping on the site.
My Department has met with the Council on a number of occasions over recent months with regard to progressing this development. It should be noted that I have also committed almost €5m under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) to build public infrastructure, which will assist in opening up the site for early development.
My Department will continue to engage proactively with the two local authorities involved in order to support early progress through procurement and onwards to construction on both of these significant sites.