Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (671, 674)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

671. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if financing in principle has been agreed for the proposal for an approved housing body to purchase 30% of the private units from a company (details supplied) at O Devaney Gardens. [47602/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Collins

Ceist:

674. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if an agreement (details supplied) with Dublin City Council regarding the disposal of the O'Devaney Gardens lands was reviewed and approved by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47622/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 671 and 674 together.

I welcome the resolution by the elected members of Dublin City Council on Monday 4 November to approve the redevelopment Council lands at O’Devaney Gardens. I understand 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 was considered the most effective way to develop the site both in terms of mixed tenure and from a financial perspective.

This agreement will seethe development of 768 homes. This will include a tenure mix which is structured to ensure community sustainability and comprising 50% private housing (411 homes), 30% (192 homes) social housing with the final 20% (165 homes) set to become affordable housing. This is in line with the tenure mix previously agreed between the Council and my Department. This approach was also agreed by the previous Council in 2017.

I am aware that on 4 November a group of Councillors including representatives of Fianna Fáil, Labour, the Social Democrats and the Green Party, acting under the name of the 'Dublin Agreement Group', announced that an “agreement has been secured” to purchase of 30% of the total units available at O’Devaney Gardens from the developer. However, as I understand it, this agreement has no legal basis, and presumably relies upon any purchaser paying the full open market price for these units.

A number of weeks previously, I made myself available to meet with a delegation of Councillors in relation to O’Devaney Gardens, but this offer was not taken up. No information has been provided to me in relation to how it was envisaged such an approach would work in practice. More importantly the Councillors in question did not confirm from where the very significant capital funding required had been secured. My Department did not receive any request for funding in connection with this announcement. While I am pleased that this important project has received the formal approval by Councillors that will allow it to proceed to the next phase. I have written to the Lord Mayor on this matter.

My Department has worked consistently with the Council in support of efforts to advance its proposals for this site. 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.