No builder yet, but Minister insists modular homes will be occupied by Christmas
A company has yet to be selected to build modular homes for homeless families, but Environment Minister Alan Kelly is still "confident" that the first families will be housed by Christmas.
Some 22 units are due to built in Poppintree in Ballymun by December 21, but despite the deadline being a month away, a tender has not been awarded to build the prefabricated homes.
Dublin City Council (DCC) delivered a report to the Department of the Environment yesterday outlining the bids made for the contract.
Due to the scale of the homeless crisis, it was decided to skip the regular tendering system in favour of an accelerated process.
A spokesman for Minister last night said that "it is still the intention" to have the modular homes ready by Christmas.
A decision on which provider will install the homes is expected "as soon as possible" he said.
When asked to provide an example of the timelines specified in the bids the spokesman said: "We won't know until we examine the report as to what the nuances are."
The Department did not reply when asked how many firms had bid for the €5m contract.
DCC has made it a condition of tendering for the job that the units be delivered by December 21 and had asked that all interested firms outline how they would achieve this.
The Government first announced the fast-track process on October 21.
Meanwhile, DCC has said that it hopes families will be in the units for just six months, but warned that the length of time spent in the modular units will depend on the availability of housing.
The council has also confirmed that the units will be in place for at least five years.
In a circular issued to councillors DCC also admitted that the price of building the homes is "comparable" to the price of building regular houses.
The savings, they said, are made via the shorter construction period.
Residents in the five communities where the units are set to be built will also be invited to information meetings on the buildings.
Modular homes are also due to be built in Crumlin, Finglas, Cherry Orchard and Darndale.
Ballymun councillor Noeleen Reilly said that it "would be amazing if they manage to achieve it in the time-frame" of before Christmas, but she was hopeful they would be in place by then.
Ms Reilly has also called for consultation with the residents living near the Poppintree site as soon as possible.