07/01/2019

Lack Of Affordable Housing 'Destroying Communities' In Dublin

The lack of affordable housing is destroying communities in Dublin, Labour representative for Dublin South Central, Cllr Rebecca Moynihan has said.

Cllr Moynihan slammed the Government for the lack of affordable housing in Dublin where the average new sale price is over €430,000, and called for more ambitious measures including the CPO of vacant sites like Player Wills to ensure homes for ordinary families are available.

Cllr Moynihan said: "The report in today's Irish Independent on the average price for new homes in 2018 shows the total lack of affordable housing and confirms what young families and those trying to buy already know. Homes in Dublin are out of the reach of far too many, and the Government has ceded control to the private market that is more interested in building mansions and land speculation.

"The lack of new social and affordable homes is forcing families to commute or use unsuitable accommodation and will over time destroy communities across Dublin as more and more areas become enclaves for the wealthy.

"The average sale price for a new home in Dublin in 2018 was €436,787 - that is way outside the reach of most workers, and an impossible burden to save for, and pay a mortgage on. Even nationally the average new sale price of €336,335 is above the Government's own affordable mortgage limit of €320,000. The sums simply don't add up for too many people.

"Action is needed to ensure homes are within people's reach. The Labour Party has put forward an ambitious plan to deliver over 80,000 affordable homes on publicly owned land over five years.

"For example in my own area, for over a decade now the Player Wills' site on the South Circular Road has laid vacant. The site has been passed through the hands of Grant Thornton and NAMA. This site has the potential to have over 500 social and affordable homes, in conjunction with the social housing on St Teresa's Gardens land but instead the site lies vacant and is now being marketed to gain the maximum price and likely deliver unaffordable homes.

"This is valuable land in one of the most accessible parts of Dublin City centre and could provide many good and secure homes for those that need it.

"We know that there are countless numbers of vacant property and land around the country and so many people are rightly angry at the level of vacant properties when so many people are without a home and are priced out of the housing and rental market.

"Getting access to affordable, secure housing and quality rental accommodation is impossible for too many people in my area and right across Dublin. We know that the demand is there for affordable housing, but the State needs to start acquiring appropriate sites like the Player Wills and start building housing along with appropriate community facilities.

"After years of private market failure, we must provide for a new model to tackle the housing crisis and it is time we took radical action to provide our citizens with homes.

"The Government's reliance on private developers, and the practice of land speculation, means that enough affordable homes will never be built and the figures published today prove that.

"The supply crisis can only be sustainably resolved through long-term State action that delivers affordable housing once and for all."

(MH/CM)

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