herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Council spends €38m on private properties for social housing use

The council bought 157 private homes across the city
The council bought 157 private homes across the city

Dublin City Council spent more than €38m last year buying 157 private homes to be used for social housing in the capital.

The figure is a jump of almost €10m on 2015 and 13 times more than 2013 and 2014 combined.

The acquisition of the properties is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

Highest

Last year saw the highest number of house purchases by the council in the past six years.

In 2015, 144 houses were bought, while in 2014 and 2013 the numbers were 11 and 12 respectively; 128 were acquired in 2011 and 73 in 2012.

A senior executive officer said in a letter regarding the acquisitions that the council could not divulge the exact locations of the properties, though she did indicate that there is an even spread throughout the city.

"The council does not divulge details of the specific properties that we acquire for social housing," she said.

"However, in assessing the suitability of properties for acquisitions, we seek to acquire units throughout the city and avoid over-concentration of acquisitions within any one street, estate or area."

Based on the numbers in each different area, the South Central and North Central areas had the highest number of purchases of private properties by the council.

In South Central, 209 units were acquired over the past six years. In North Central, 134 were bought and in North West the number was 91.

The Central area has seen 74 acquisitions, while the South East acquired 17 over the same period.

South East area councillor Mannix Flynn told the Herald that the cost of houses in his area meant fewer purchases were made.

He has called for further transparency from the council.

Conditions

Mr Flynn said the response to his query to the council did not include where the houses acquired are located.

He had also asked council officials what the properties were currently being used for but did not receive a response.

"We don't know the conditions of these properties and then we don't know the locations and we're the directors of Dublin City Council," he said.

"They won't tell me where these houses are and that's not acceptable."

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