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Saturday 10 December 2016

Kelly defends delay in building modular homes in Dublin

Acting minister Alan Kelly at the modular homes (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Acting minister Alan Kelly at the modular homes (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Acting Environment Minister Alan Kelly has defended the delay in delivering the first of 500 modular housing units.

"This was unique territory. Dublin City Council did this as quickly as possible and, ultimately, if you can show me houses of this scale, of this quality and to this quantity, that were delivered in even double the time frame, I'd be amazed," he said.

The first 22 units set up to ease the homeless crisis will be completed shortly at Baile na Laochra, Poppintree in Ballymun. Families are set to move into the modular homes in the coming fortnight.

The two-storey, three-bedroom homes were initially due to be ready before Christmas. However, the date was set back as a result of protests and bad weather.

"There was a learning process through Dublin City Council as part of this," he said as he viewed the homes yesterday.

"It was the first time it was ever done. That learning process has been brought through for the second procurement, which has a lot more people involved, I understand."

The minister said he expects works on 130 modular homes to start on sites later this month, with a further 300 units to be built later this year.

"What you're looking at here are the fastest-built houses in the history of the State," he said. "I believe we need thousands of these units built.

"The idea is that people move in here, and, then move into social housing. Remember, some people who move in here may not actually want to live in this area.

"I think it is very necessary that we have developments that incorporate all social sides, different age groups and various different demographics."

Kerry Anthony, the CEO of Homeless charity DePaul, welcomed the developments.

"The homes are spacious and attractive," she said. "As a short-term solution to homelessness, they form a viable alternative to hotel and B&B accommodation, which is wholly unsuitable for lengthy durations."

Help

However, she urged long-term housing solutions be also put in place.

DePaul's Ballymun case management team, which helps homeless people, will support families in the modular homes and help them access more permanent accommodation.

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