PLANS have been announced to house 140 people in a €10m investment to help tackle the capital's housing crisis.
The Iveagh Trust, which has helped provide affordable housing in Dublin for decades, is planning a fresh development in Chapelizod on the northside, which will also try to encourage members of the surrounding aging community to take up residency there in exchange for giving up two- or three-bedroom homes in which they may currently live.
Outgoing Lord Mayor Christy Burke last night welcomed the initiative, saying the city's housing crisis had reached "desparate levels".
"It's at the stage where I'd consider asking the Irish Army to open up old barracks, and the Archbishop to accommodate families in unused convents, the situation is that bad," Mr Burke said.
"It's seriously reached desperate levels. We currently have 1,100 children without a home and I'm dealing with at least 10 people a day who have or are facing the prospect of losing their home," he added.
"People are being forced out of their homes, illegally may I add, by their landlords, and we have to do more to stop this from happening.
"I greatly welcome organisations such as the Iveagh Trust who are spending money on social housing, and I just wish there were more like them," Mr Burke told the Herald.
The Iveagh Trust intend to build 70 social housing units for pensioners and redevelop 38 bedsits at a cost of €10m.
The new social housing units will accommodate 140 people, the majority in one-bedroom homes. Six of the units will include an additional guest room for OAPs who require overnight carers.
Approximately 70pc of the housing scheme will be financed by the state-owned Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank, with the remaining 30pc provided from a long-term government loan facilitated under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility.
The development was first proposed to Dublin City Council more than five years ago, with Iveagh Trust chief executive Gene Clayton saying the scheme would benefit an "ageing community" surrounding Chapelizod.
"The idea is that there's an ageing community in Ballyfermot and its environs, some of whom are still Dublin City Council tenants living alone in two- or three-bedroom houses," Mr Clayton said.
"They could give up their tenancy there, move in with us and free up two- and three-bedroom properties for families on the housing waiting list.
"The problem is that it has taken more than five years to get here. We all know the difficulties that came from raising finance, but things are beginning to change now.
"There is a momentum building. Housing associations are becoming well equipped to raise finance, to go out there and to put together packages like this and get the housing they need," Mr Clayton added.