Dublin councils will fail to meet rapid-build homes target

Three authorities will build fewer than 50 of the homes for homeless families this year

Fewer than 50 “rapid-build” homes, designed to house homeless families currently living in hotels, are scheduled to be completed in three Dublin councils by the end of this year.

Under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan to address the housing and homelessness crises, 1,500 rapid-build homes were to be provided in Dublin city and county by the end of next year.

Of these, 200 were to be in place by the end of 2016, 800 by the end of this year, and another 500 were due to be finished by the end of 2018.

To date, only Dublin City Council has completed any rapid-build homes. It has provided 22 houses at Poppintree in Ballymun , which have been occupied since May of last year by families who had previously been living in hotels.

The city council expects to have 130 more houses completed at sites in Finglas, Darndale, Cherry Orchard and Drimnagh by the end of next month, and hopes to have 17 more houses, at smaller sites at Rathvilly in Finglas and Woodbank Drive in Coolock built by the end of the year.

However, the three other Dublin local authorities – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council and Fingal – have yet to produce any rapid-build homes.

Construction delays

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had been due to have 28 homes completed at Churchtown by the end of June.

These homes would not now be finished until the end of September “due to construction delays”, the council said.

Another 12 rapid-build homes are to be built at George’s Place in Dún Laoghaire town, but the council said these would not be ready until next June.

Fingal County Council said 20 rapid-build homes were scheduled to be delivered in the Dublin 15 area by October.

Another 25 homes are due to be completed by March of next year in Balbriggan, while tenders seeking the construction of 42 more homes in Dublin 15 will be issued next month.

South Dublin County Council said work was due to start this month on 85 rapid-build homes at St Aidan’s, off Brookfield Road in Tallaght. Tenders for two other sites at Killininny and St Cuthbert’s with a total of 87 homes are due to be published shortly.

Dublin City Council plans to expand the rapid-build programme to provide 900 homes for general applicants for social housing, as well as homeless families.

Modular apartments

By the end of this year, the city council hopes to have 169 homes completed. Next year, another 119 homes, more than half of which will be modular apartments, as part of what the city council calls its “volumetric” rapid-build programme, are due for completion.

A further 629 homes , most of which would also be rapid-build apartments, are expected to be built at 10 sites around the city by 2022.

Dublin City Council’s head of housing Brendan Kenny said the current turnaround time on modular housing is 17 months, while traditionally built homes in estates of the same size take three years to complete. He said it was hoped the rapid-build delivery time could be cut to nine months.

Under the rapid-build programme, local authorities have been able to use a fast-track planning process in addition to using a faster construction method whereby elements of the homes are factory-built and assembled on site.

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