Every unit allocated in Priory Hall will make a difference to our housing crisis
Issued : Wednesday 7 September, 2016
Prior Hall will long be remembered as one of the worst examples of Celtic Tiger housing developments. Those who had purchased units in the development suffered protracted uncertainty and stress upon realisation that their homes were at serious risk from fire due to non-compliance with fire regulations.
It took the death by suicide of one home owner to finally come to a resolution among all parties involved that would alleviate owners of their mortgages and give but-to-let purchasers a stay on their mortgages. Funding was secured from the Department of the Environment and Local Government and Dublin City Council was charged with delivering the refurbishment ‘
‘A report on the disposal of the units was presented to DCC Councillors on Monday night was discussed and various amendments made. AAA and People Before Profit sought to completely disregard the resolution that committed the maintenance of the original tenure mix of social housing, owner occupied and buy-to-let (private rental) proposing that the vast majority of the units be used for social housing.’
‘While no-one contests that we need more social housing this blatant disregard for the legal standing of the resolution would have resulted in a complete re-negotiation of the original agreement which would cost not only great expense but significant delay in allocating the units, 60 of which are now ready. This proposal also ignores good practice and DCC policy to include a mix of tenures and incomes to support sustainable communities’
‘Instead of ignoring the resolution, myself and my Labour Party colleagues sought to make timely housing gains for those in need within the parameters of the agreement. Originally, 20% of the units in Priory Hall were allocated to social housing so we sought to amend the agreement to increase this by 10% to allow for 30% or about 57 units out of 187 – a reasonable ask that has a much greater possibility of being achieved without significant delay or expense given the 30% precedent set for the Oscar Traynor Lands’.
‘We also proposed that DCC would retain sufficient units so as to provide an overall owner-occupier affordable housing level of 30% within the entire Priory Hall development to support those who meet the income criteria to be eligible for local authority house purchase loans. This proposal recognised and respected the number of owner-occupier units of the original development but argued for a targeted opportunity (38 units) for those on lower incomes to buy units designated for owner-occupiers. Again, a workable ask within the resolution parameters that will make a real difference for those lower earners (single income of under €50,000 or a joint income of no greater than €75,000)’.
‘This practicable, reasonable and workable approach will make a real difference to many families seeking a more secure and affordable home. It also recognises that as public representatives we have a responsibility to support the wide variety of housing requirements and to find real solutions, not populist unachievable ones, for those who need our support. At the end of the day every unit allocated in Priory Hall will make a difference to our housing crisis’.
Cllr Alison GillilandThe Labour PartyChairperson of the Dublin City Council Strategic Policy Committee on Housing
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