herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

'Modular housing is not the answer', says homeless young mother-of-one

Erica Fleming
Erica Fleming

A HOMELESS mum has expressed outrage after it emerged that the building of new modular homes will cost more per unit than building social housing.

Dublin City Council announced earlier this week it had entered into a contract with a firm to provide 22 modular homes at Poppintree, Ballymun.

It said that it was estimated that the cost for the provision of the homes would be €4.2m.

Dublin city councillor Michael O'Brien has said that the building of each one of these modular units will cost €191,000 - €11,000 more than the cost of building a social housing unit, based on Environment Department figures.

Erica Fleming (30), who has been living in a hotel since last June with her nine-year-old child, said that the high costs of these modular homes suggests "that it is not going to be a temporary solution" to the housing crisis.

"They really need to come up with a better solution than modular housing because it is not the way forward. They could build real houses for less money," she said.

An Environment Department statement defended the costs.

"The Ballymun project is a pilot one which is proceeding at emergency pace. As it's 22 homes and the first of its kind, you are paying for speed and for less economies of scale.

FAMILIES

"Additional homes are required urgently rather than having families spend in excess of €3,300 per month in hotel rooms paid by the State," the statement said.

"The modular homes are a short-term measure. It is far more preferable to house families in modular homes than in hotel rooms. People will be moved out of the modular homes as soon as permanent homes become available. Dublin City Council has been allocated €292m to build, purchase or lease social houses between 2015 and 2017," the Department said.

Dublin City Council plans to deliver a further 131 modular homes next year.

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