100 city homes to open as row over rent ends
FORMER residents of a €17m Dublin City apartment complex will finally be able to move back into their homes after a long-running row over rent costs was brought to an end.
An intervention by Environment Minister Alan Kelly has resulted in an agreement being struck that will see the complete reopening of Fr Scully House, the Herald has learned.
The original Fr Scully House, a complex of 45 senior citizen's bedsits, was built in the late 1960s.
It was vacated in 2006 and subsequently demolished.
Construction of a new €17m complex, comprising 99 apartments near the junction of Gardiner Street and Mountjoy Square, was built with 100pc State funding under the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS), and was recently completed.
But a row over rent and building costs between the Government and the Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS) left the residents in temporary accommodation.
Government ministers had expressed outrage that most of the 99 apartments in Fr Scully House remained vacant due to the impasse.
However, a breakthrough in the case was achieved yesterday following an intervention by Mr Kelly.
Sources said that the residents will now be informed that they can return to their homes in the coming weeks.
Dublin Central TD Joe Costello welcomed the development.
"It is imperative that there is no further delay in providing this top-quality accommodation to those who are in need of housing," the Labour TD said.
The units in Fr Scully House were ready for occupation many months ago and the prospective tenants have been waiting for months to move in. The Government is currently faced with a housing crisis across the country.
"In a housing crisis, to leave new social housing units unoccupied because of a row over rents was a scandal," Mr Costello said.
Independent councillor Nial Ring also welcomed yesterday's development.
"Dublin City Council officials are to be congratulated on their persistence in ensuring that a solution was found," he said.
"At least the impasse is over and those nominated by the City Council will now be interviewed and hopefully soon be in their new homes," he added.