I have not met with Councillors or management from Dublin City Council to discuss the delivery of this much needed housing on the O’Devaney Gardens site since the date referred to by the Deputy. I can confirm that, a number of weeks previously, I did make myself available to meet with a delegation of Councillors in relation to this development. This offer was not taken up. I was therefore surprised by an announcement by a number of Councillors, acting under the name of the 'Dublin Agreement Group', concerning a suggested purchase of private units from the developer for what was termed ‘affordable rental’ housing. My Department did not receive a request for funding in connection with this announcement. I have written to the Lord Mayor on this matter.
My Department has regular and ongoing engagement with Dublin City Council officials in relation to housing delivery. This would include being advised that the Council had voted to support a proposal by the DCC Executive to develop its lands in O’Devaney Gardens by a majority of 39 votes to 18 on 4 November. My Department understands that the advice of the Council executive to the Council members at the meeting was that an exhaustive process had been undertaken over the last number of years and the delivery model proposed by the Council, which was the original model agreed by the previous Council, was considered the most effective way to develop the site both in terms of mixed tenure and from a financial perspective. This is what was voted upon and passed.
768 homes will be developed under the agreement in question on a tenure mix 50% private, 30% social and 20% affordable. It is anticipated that my Department will fund, in full, the development of the 247 social homes on the site. My Department is also funding another 56 social homes, which are currently under construction, as part of an associated development. Separately, subject to the conditions of the scheme, approval in principle had already been confirmed for Serviced Sites Funding from the Department to support the delivery of the more affordable homes on this site. This grant funding is associated with the 165 more affordable homes for purchase that will be delivered on site at significantly below open market rates. These 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed homes will be made available to purchasers at an average price of €300,000 and in no circumstances will they cost more than €310,000.