Dismay as Nama apartment block remains vacant
A Nama-controlled apartment building, which could house up to 200 people on social housing lists, continues to lie empty as the housing crisis worsens.
The apartment block in Finglas has been vacant for the past six years.
Dozens of people were interviewed before Christmas to secure an apartment there and believed they would be moving into the property this month.
However, they were dismayed to discover they are unable to move in because of fire safety issues.
Councillors say the delay is both unacceptable and avoidable.
"We need to get these sites moving as quickly as possible because we have a housing shortage in the city," said Fianna Fail councillor David Costello, who represents the Cabra-Finglas area.
Mr Costello said the people who were called for interview should be given priority, given the delays and complications they have faced in recent weeks.
He added that he would like to see the people who were originally offered the apartments finding homes as quickly as possible.
Dublin City Council (DCC) entered into a contract to buy the apartments from Nama last month.
It was originally going to buy 23 of the 58 units from the block in 2014.
A council source said the building could be in operation some time between April and May of this year, and that work has begun to bring it up to standard.
When completed, it will provide 58 apartments with two or three bedrooms. The property will be managed by housing charity Cluid.
Although the block is currently owned by Nama, it has agreed with DCC that any issues with the apartments will be fixed before the sale is concluded.
The complex is on the site of the former Premier Dairies. The land was sold by DCC in 2003 to a developer called McCabes, which originally built the apartments.
It was taken over last December 29 by activists calling themselves Premier Love Project, who barricaded themselves into the building. They were removed by gardai three hours later.
A spokesperson for the group said it was not aware that the apartments were due to be prepared for social housing, but added that it was "horrific" they were still lying vacant.
The group is not associated with Home Sweet Home, which occupied Apollo House until Wednesday.