Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Committee Work Programme: Discussion (Resumed)

Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

That is okay. I propose to include it under No. 4, which you, Chairman, have referred to as construction costs in housing. I specifically want us to call out the viability of apartment building, as there is significant concern that it is unviable. That is it in a nutshell. I would welcome if we as a committee could examine that because we will need to figure it out if we want to have denser cities and all of those wonderful things.

Another point to consider is to examine and report on over-concentration of homeless accommodation in parts of Dublin city. I spoke about this before. I am happy for it to go into No. 0.1. I am also happy for a review of the governance and operation of multi-unit developments to go into No. 5.

The next point comes under local government and is the proposal for a directly elected mayor for Dublin city. It is in the programme for Government and is potentially something that could be delivered within the next four years. I do not think anything could have shown us more clearly that Dublin needed a directly elected leader than Covid-19, so I would like if the committee could perhaps champion that issue.

There are two items in particular that come under heritage that I would like the committee to pursue. The first is the national monument site on Moore Street. It has been talked about for nearly as long as we have been talking about 1916 and it is shameful that the national monument on Moore Street is left in the state it is in. It is adjacent to a contentious, privately-owned site on O'Connell Street. The north-west quarter of O'Connell Street is derelict. Private money is never going to be invested when the State does not commit to restore and preserve our history in the national monument on Moore Street. It is not just the national monument that is at issue but also street trading on Moore Street. I ask for the committee's support to champion this with the Minister. I think he is supportive but it should be delivered. My final point is similar to Senator Boyhan's and is to report on the built heritage of Dublin city in particular. I am happy for that to go into No. 13.

The last point I will make relates to an issue that was submitted at the time but it was not included. It is on the screens. You will see it, Chairman, if you scroll down. I think it is captured anyway in the previous one. It is basically that we would financially evaluate all of the housing delivery methods.

That includes everything from temporary emergency accommodation to long-term leasing, turnkey purchases, RAS and the housing assistance payment, HAP. We need one concise and comprehensive financial evaluation of the value for money on all of these multiple schemes so that it can be used to inform Rebuilding Ireland, policy decisions, the Department's work and so on. That is a comprehensive objective but if we follow the money we should get some answers. We need to examine how and where are we spending that money.

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