Dublin residents angered by plan to move homeless families into vacant houses

Dublin City Council hopes to move 13 families currently living in hotels into the property

Locals in a north Dublin suburb have expressed their anger at plans by Dublin City Council to use two vacant units in the area to house homeless families.

Residents of St Lawrence Road in Clontarf say they are "disappointed" that proposals to move homeless families into a former B&B have gone ahead without them being consulted.

Homeless agency the Dublin Region Homeless Executive recently bought the vacant house - which boasts 13 ensuite bedrooms and several reception rooms - for almost €2m.

It's been reported that the council is planning to move 13 homeless families currently living in hotels into the former guesthouse, which was acquired by a leading property agency following the retirement of its former owners.

But The Irish Times quotes a number of locals who say they are disappointed at the development, and that the money could have been better used elsewhere.

One resident, Tony McNally, said that while he was "sincerely sympathetic" with those who were suffering, the local community were unhappy with how they were not told about the proposals.

He said: "The problem the community has here is the way in which Dublin City Council has imposed this on us. Nobody on the road knew anything about this project until we did our own investigation.

"A neighbour across the road became concerned when he heard noises in the vacant property and called gardai."

He added that "eight or nine apartments in the same area" could have been bought for the €1.9m price the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive paid for the B&B.

Prices of nearby apartments currently for sale in the area range from €220,000 for two separate one-bedroom apartments to €749,000 for a four-bedroom apartment on Castle Avenue.

Mr McNally's wife is also quoted as being concerned at document outlining house rules for those who will live in the B&B, including guidelines about daily collections of injecting equipment.

Two other residents told the Irish Times: "We have concerns as residents but are obviously very sympathetic to the ongoing housing crisis families face in Ireland, but I don't think it's an adequate space to house 13 families."

Read other news on the city site of Dublin.

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