Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate in Dublin North West, Cllr Paul McAuliffe has said the delay in introducing a State-led Affordable Housing Scheme is indicative of Fine Gael’s attitude towards working families in Ballymun.
There is enough State owned land available in Dublin 9 and Dublin 11 that could provide for the development of up to 2,000 new homes but lies vacant and unused while Council Officials wait on the Minister for Housing to put the establishment of an Affordable Housing Scheme on a legislative footing.
McAuliffe said, “The Ballymun Local Area Plan zoned and identified planning objectives for almost 30 different sites over 12 months ago, yet Council Officials have been unable to dispose of any of the sites to develop much needed affordable housing because of the Minister’s inaction.
“Similarly, 150 affordable homes were identified as part of an overall mixed housing development of 650 units on the Oscar Traynor site – this project is delayed until the Department garners enough will to decide what best ‘affordable’ means to fund development.
“It’s been two years since then Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney convened an emergency session with the City Council’s Corporate Policy Group to discuss the three ‘expression of interest sites’.
“An agreement was reached that day that 20% of the sites would be properly utilised by an Affordable Housing Scheme. 24 months later and nothing has been done to kick-start the establishment of that scheme despite repeated calls from my party colleagues and I.
“As homes in Finglas East sell for half a million euro this month, the delay in introducing a scheme is blocking countless Dublin families from ever owning their own home. It’s time the Minister got his act together.
“The Minister was willing to come out last year and cut a ribbon on the O’Cualann Co-Op project in Ballymun even though it was initiated and funded by Dublin City Council without Department support.
“If this model, which delivered 17 affordable homes in our community and received wide acclaim from Fine Gael, was so successful then why hasn’t the Department made moves to rapidly roll it out elsewhere?
“Their appalling inaction can only lead us to wonder if Fine Gael is even remotely concerned about the lack of affordable homes in Dublin,” he concluded.