Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Discussion

Ms Philomena Poole:

I will take the questions in reverse order. The LIHAF funding for the Cherrywood site referred to by the Senator is €11.39 million. If we were to spread that funding across all of the homes due to be delivered, it would be such a miniscule amount that it would have no substantial impact on affordability. It will contribute to the affordability of 300 homes over the lifetime of the Cherrywood scheme. The LIHAF funding of €11.39 million divided by 300 homes allows us to reduce the cost of these units by approximately €40,000, although the exact figure depends on the size of the unit delivered. We will probably primarily concentrate on smaller units. Work on the town centre has commenced and will be completed in 2021. The LIHAF funding will help to deliver 300 homes over the duration of the Cherrywood scheme.

I think the Senator asked whether land being given for free was a consideration. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown is something of an outlier in that respect as it is a far more expensive place in which to buy, build, deliver and rent housing than most other local authority areas. For that reason, we will not put a cost on the land against the Shanganagh site. That will bring down the cost of the land further. That is not something every local authority would be in a position to do or that my local authority would be in a position to do across every site. The decision stems from the nature of the county and the urgent need to deliver through that development.

On our discussions with other agencies, developments in counties must be delivered in the round. It is important that we have IDA Ireland lands because we want investment to be able to deliver a range of things. Lands in the public realm are also important, as is land held by the HSE. Some plots of land have the potential to contribute to resolving the housing issue. The Senator referred to the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

Clearly, it will have a dramatic impact when it comes to bear. We are in discussions with the LDA and have certain thoughts on it from a planning perspective. Ms Keenan may be in a position to provide detail on the HRI lands about which we have engaged in discussions. There are no dramatic plots of IDA Ireland land in the county where land tends to be privately owned and there are few large industrial parks where such land may be made available, as may be the case elsewhere.


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