Category Archives: Housing

Keane calls for full audit of upper floor unused commercial space in Dublin to help reduce numbers in emergency accommodation- Rough sleeper numbers in Dublin down 38%

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has said that unused upper floor commercial space in Dublin could help to reduce the numbers of people currently in emergency accommodation. Senator Keane was speaking after figures released  by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that the rough sleeper figures for Dublin are down 38% but the numbers in emergency accommodation is not decreasing.

“The first count of rough sleepers in Dublin since the Government activated its plan on reducing rough sleeping, shows that the numbers are down 38%. The plan is working but we can do more. A total of 1,872 adults were found to be in emergency accommodation. These people can find it difficult to move on to rented accommodation. I am supporting the call made by CEO of The Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle, that unused upper floor commercial space in Dublin city could be remodelled and used as residential accommodation.

“I would like to see a full audit of unused commercial space in Dublin and I urge Dublin City Council to consider carry out such a review. Once we know the scale of the unused commercial space, we could consider if some of the buildings might be appropriate to convert to residential accommodation and turned around faster than waiting for new build to come on stream. .Anything is better than the streets and I think that unused commercial space, while not a long term solution, could help reduce the rough sleeper numbers further.

“In the meanwhile the Government must persist with its plan to reduce the numbers, as it is clearly working. 271 additional emergency beds were provided at the turn of the year and the establishment of the ‘Nite Café’ has been a useful contact point for homeless people who do not want to be placed in emergency accommodation, provide food, a rest area and showers. Dublin City Council is also re-examining its vacant properties currently scheduled for demolition with a view to refurbishing some of them on a temporary basis.

The Government’s Social Housing Strategy intends the delivery of over 110,000 social housing tenancies over a six-year period, through the provision of 35,000 new social housing units, and by meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Schemes. Thinking outside the box has been key to alleviating rough sleeping in Dublin and I believe that unused upper floor commercial space could form part of the solution.”

ENDS

85 housing projects to begin in Dublin South-West as part of Government social housing strategy –Keane

Fine Gael Senator Cáit Keane, has said today that 85 new housing projects are to begin in Dublin South-West, a total investment of €17 million as part of the first phase of the Government’s Social Housing Strategy.

“This announcement will bring investment jobs and houses to Dublin South-West and I am delighted that we will receive €17 million funding as part of this first phase of investment, leading to 85 of housing projects.

Details of Dublin South-West Projects are as follows:

Estate                                       No of Units:               Cost:                              Part 8 Planning:
Fortunestown, Tallaght       28                               €5,6000,000 million    Yes
Dromcarra                                 22                               €4,4000,000 million    No
Owendoher, Rathfarnham  35                               €7,000,000 million      No

“Nationally €312 million has been approved by the Minister for Environment Alan Kelly and Minister for ousing, Planning & Construction, Paudie Coffee. An additional 1700 social houses will be ready by 2017 with an estimated 300 additional jobs in construction created. All will be completed by 2017.

“This is part of the Government’s €4billion social housing strategy to deliver 35,000 housing units by 2020 and to reduce the housing waiting lists by 25% nationally by 2017 based on the most recent housing need assessment report. It is the first major investment in local authority housing for many years.

“These 100 projects across the Country are shovel ready and will deliver hundreds of much needed houses in every county.

“This is just one of the ways that we will be delivering social housing units and shows this Government’s commitment in addressing the need for more social housing here in Dublin South-West.”

ENDS

€73,255.58 million for local authority housing will reduce the South Dublin waiting list and create jobs – Keane

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has, today (Wednesday) welcomed the allocation of €75,255.580 million for local authority housing in South Dublin. This is part of a national allocation of funding  by Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Paudie Coffey TD, as part of the Government’s €3.8 billion social housing strategy announced last November out to 2020.

“In South Dublin, €75,255.580 million has been allocated to the County Council for local authority housing. It is estimated that this funding will meet 23% of the housing need in South Dublin which will go a long way towards reducing the waiting list. This is not even including the Housing Assistance Payment which will help to further reduce demand on our housing waiting list.

“Along with all local authorities, South Dublin County Council was asked to bring forward the housing unit targets and specific building projects it has planned for now to 2017. As part of the strategy, targets had to be agreed with each local authority in 2015.

“In total across the country, over €1.5 billion will be invested in a combination of building, buying and leasing schemes by local authorities designed to accommodate 25% of those currently on the housing waiting lists in social housing. Approximately 300 separate building proposals by local authorities are currently being assessed by the Department of Environment and will be announced in a number of phases starting this month. Construction is already underway for social housing in approximately 33 sites throughout the country.

“In South Dublin, this funding will help to create and sustain approximately of jobs in the construction sector which was so badly affected by the economic crash of recent years. This is a really important part of the Government’s plan to spread job creation and economic recovery to all counties around Ireland so that everyone can feel the benefit.”

ENDS

Social Housing Strategy will address the shortage and provide homes for those who need them in Dublin South-West- Keane

Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South West, Cáit Keane, has today (Wednesday) said that the Government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020 will address the current housing shortage and provide homes for those who need them in her constituency, Dublin South-West.

“The Social Housing Strategy announced by the Government today will deal with the housing shortage in this country and in my constituency, Dublin South-West. I am pleased to hear that 35,000 social housing units are going to be supplied by 2020. The needs of a further 75,000 households will be met through the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Sometimes we can be blinded by statistics and figures, but the reality of this is the provision of homes to those who badly need them. The Government has a clear plan to accommodate the 90,000 households currently on the waiting list.

“The news today is particularly positive for Dublin. A new Dublin Social Housing Delivery Taskforce is to be established immediately to deal with the 31,814 households are on the waiting lists of the four Dublin Authorities.

“This ambitious national plan to supply 35,000 social housing units will be completed through the building and acquisition of over 22,000 units, the lease of 11,000 units and the return to use of over 2,000 units.

“For a long time now I have been calling for return of empty units to the waiting list, as part of the solution to the housing problem, so I am very pleased to see this incorporated into the new strategy. There are 655 vacant units in Dublin that, with refurbishment, can be returned to use for the people who so badly need them. Work has started on 245 of these units and work will begin on the remaining 410 over the next 4 to 6 months.

“The €2.2 billion announced in Budget 2015 is to kick start this project. The total cost of supplying 35,000 units by 2020 will be €3.8 billion.

“A major part of the strategy is also the reform of social housing and the way it is allocated. The Housing Assistance Payment is designed to ensure people have the accommodation they need but also to make work pay for people. It is currently being introduced on a phased basis in a number of Local Authorities and will be widespread by 2015. It is better than Rent Supplement as it allows people to take up work without losing their payment, and to avail of other social housing supports and options, if they so choose. Rent Supplement will continue to be paid by the Department of Social Protection to households who are already in the private rented sector but who, because of temporary a loss of income through unemployment or otherwise, require a short term income support to pay their rent. That was the original purpose of Rent Supplement.

“Examples of reform in the allocation of social housing include the introduction of a Housing Passport mechanism to allow greater mobility of social housing tenants between local authorities in order to access employment opportunities, and the introduction of a Choice-Based Letting system to offer more choice and involvement for applicant households in selecting their new home.
“Of course this increased spend on social housing is not just good news for those waiting on the list. It is also very positive for the construction industry, with plenty of potential for job creation in an industry that was badly hit by the economic crash. It is estimated that the strategy will see the creation of 29,000 jobs.
“The Government has worked hard to secure a significant economic recovery in this country and I am very glad to see that the benefits of this will be spread to the most vulnerable in society. The fact is that the open market is not meeting the housing needs of our citizens, particularly in Dublin South West. I have been seeing the effects of this in my clinics for a long time now. Everyone deserves the right to a place they call home and the Social Housing Strategy announced today is going to address the current housing shortage which has left so many people in a vulnerable situation.”

ENDS