herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Minister 'disrespectful to the homeless' over Poolbeg site

Members of the new action group
Members of the new action group
Richard Boyd Barret

The landmark development site at Poolbeg in Dublin should be used mainly for new council and socially affordable homes, a new action group has said.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney was being "completely disrespectful" to the nation's homeless by saying he hoped 10pc of the 3,000 homes to be built on the old Irish Glass Bottle site will be reserved for social housing, said the Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group.

The group held a meeting yesterday that was addressed by supporters of a new campaign for mostly social housing for the site.

The Government has designated it a strategic development zone to allow 3,000 new homes and 130,000 square metres of offices and retail space to be developed using fast-track planning powers.

Mr Coveney's suggestion that 10pc of homes be social housing showed he did not appreciate the scale of the housing crisis, said group spokeswoman Annette Mooney.

"Nama is already scheduled to make €1bn in profit. Some of this money must now be used for council housing. Nama is supposed to 'contribute to the social and economic development of the State', according to the 2009 Act," she said.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the 10pc social housing proposal was "scandalous".

Deliver

"The people of this country own Nama. The vast bulk of Nama land and houses, including the Irish Glass Bottle site, should be used to deliver council and affordable housing," he said.

"Given the enormous housing crisis, under no circumstances should the vast majority of this site be sold off at market prices.

"Failed policy and a dysfunctional housing market have made housing unaffordable and unattainable for ordinary people."

Architect Mark Price said: "Promises of 10pc or 30pc of affordable housing still means 90pc or 70pc unaffordable housing.

"It is becoming impossible for young people from all classes to acquire a home. Nama must be instructed to develop this site for the public good."

Resident Kevin Berney said families in old established communities in Pearse Street and Ringsend are being driven out by developments of homes that local people simply cannot afford.

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