News & Media

Labour not supporting O’Devaney proposal

7 October 2019

Statement by Cllr Alison Gilliland

Labour Party Dublin City Councillor and chair of Dublin City Council Housing SPC, Alison Gilliland has said that Labour will not support the O’Devaney Gardens proposal at this evening’s DCC meeting.

Cllr Gilliland outlined:

“Having given careful consideration to the report and associated documentation the Labour Group on Dublin City Council will not be supporting the proposal to develop O’Devaney Gardens (Report 305/2019) at this evening’s Dublin City Council meeting.

“In our decision we are acutely aware of the time and effort that DCC has invested in bring the procurement process to this stage, we are acutely aware of the 192 families from our social housing list who would have been allocated a safe and secure home upon its completion in 4/5 years time the delay they will now face in realising that dream.

“We recognise that we supported this proposal when it was presented to us in January 2017 - the offer of funding for 30% social and 20% affordable units was a massive improvement on the original offer of only 10% social housing put on the table by Minister Coveney.

“However, a key element of the initiative when originally presented was that it would provide affordable homes for people. In the intervening period, rents have escalated by almost 30% in this area and become impossible for ordinary working people to afford. Family homelessness as almost doubled - the key reason families find themselves homeless is that they cannot afford private rents.

“This scheme does not deliver enough for those families and individuals and the reason for that lies squarely at the government’s door.

“The lack of a government affordable rental scheme, not cost rental, has prevented this proposal from progressing. The lack of Dublin City Council autonomy, capacity and funding has made us dependent on a flawed market system that would allow the preferred bidder on this proposal benefit directly from the sale of over 400 units for well over half a million - at minimum that would require an annual income of €150,000, well beyond the average worker.

“Labour cannot reconcile that transfer of a state resource. We are drawing a line in the sand here today. We are calling a halt to corporate-benefitting development and asking Dublin City Council to take lessons learned on this proposal and seek expressions of interest from people who want to work with us in our capacity of a local housing authority to design and build a real mix of social and affordable housing on our most valuable resource, our lands, and for our most valuable resource, our people, the people who want to live and work in Dublin City.

“We are also calling on the Minister of Housing and the government to give us the autonomy, capacity and funding we need to realise this. We are also calling on the Minister to support us by legislating for an affordable rental model that we can adapt and apply to housing on our lands.”