Social housing units for 'luxury' Belmayne estate
A Dublin estate that was launched by soccer star Jamie Redknapp and his pop star wife Louise in 2007 is now being used to provide social housing.
Belmayne, near Darndale, as billed to be a place of luxury living - with ads featuring models in suggestive poses in plush surroundings.
It was to be the biggest housing development in north Dublin until the economy took a nosedive and it was left unfinished.
The property crash put paid to the dream and Belmayne largely became a ghost estate.
The State's largest housing association, Cluid, manages 134 apartments in the estate, and now another 125 apartments have been completed for tenants in Churchwell Rise.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly said the development was a model of how social housing can be provided.
In 2007, developers Stanley Holdings and LM Developments announced plans to build more than 2,000 homes in Belmayne.
But less than half of the apartments, some of which were priced at €500,000, were built, and a large number of them lay unoccupied for many years which turned the development into a ghost estate.
In 2009 Cluid, with housing associations Hail and Sonas, bought 75 completed homes there while Dublin City Council bought 59 of them and appointed Cluid as management agents.
Cluid spokeswoman Karen Kennedy said the estate was in poor condition at the time, with high rates of anti-social behaviour, rubbish piled up on the streets, and derelict buildings everywhere.
Almost all the properties are now occupied and there is a growing sense of community, according to Ms Kennedy.
Last year Cluid, which is a not-for-profit organisation, reached agreement with Nama to take over the 125 Church Rise apartments through a lease agreement.
This sees Cluid pay a percentage of the rents it collects to the agency's property company, Nama Asset Residential Property Services.
More than half of the newly-finished apartments are social rented homes for people on Dublin City Council's housing waiting list.
Of these, one-third are reserved for people who have been homeless.
The remaining homes are let at market rents to those who can afford to pay a higher rent.
This is not the first time that Belamayne has been used for emergency housing since the property market crash killed-off its original plan.
Many families who were evacuated from the fire-trap Priory Hall estate in 2011 were given temporary homes in the estate while the legal minefield over it was thrashed out in the courts in a process that was only finalised last year.