- €40 million loss of funding
- 279 families now wait to hear if they will be re-housed
- Mistakes of the past will be repeated by not providing the finishing elements
Cllr Paul McAuliffe, Fianna Fáil Councillor for Ballymun was today informed by Dublin City Council that the Government are set to dramatically cut this year’s allocation to the Ballymun Rehousing Project by a massive €40 million, a sum which represents a 50% reduction of planned activity. The cut will see one of the last three necessary phases eliminated and will almost certainly leave some of the remaining 227 families in the high rise blocks (8 and 15 storey) stranded and a further 52 families in temporary accommodation with limited prospect of being permanently housed.
The department’s intentions have been heavily criticised by Cllr McAuliffe who said it amounted to a full downgrade of the regeneration project. The Department is reverting to an old style housing programme which will lead to many of the original mistakes, made in the Ballymun estate in the 1960s being repeated 50 years on.
The decision will also spell the end to some of the non-housing programmes which were designed to finishes the planned new town, these include public parks, road realignments and the placement of housing in areas to resolve antisocial behaviour and previous poor planning. It also calls into question what if any funding the Department will have available to provide neighbourhood shopping facilities to replace the Shopping Centre which is at present the subject of contested receivership proceedings in the courts.
“The regeneration project has been operating for 14 years and has seen almost all of the old style flats replaced and a community transformed. The previous government’s commitment to the area was second to none and has resulted in a vibrant and changed environment. This decision to cut funding will undermine not just the work of the last 14 years but will damage the possibility of the regeneration project being studied and replicated elsewhere.“
“The area has elected two Labour TDs to the Dáil, one of whom is a Junior Minister. They must now apply the same pressure on their government colleagues which Fianna Fáil ministers did almost 15 years ago when the project began. The people of Ballymun deserve better,” said Cllr McAuliffe.