Seanad debates

Friday, 4 June 2021

Affordable Housing Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)


9:30 am

Photo of Alice-Mary HigginsAlice-Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 63:

In page 32, line 19, before “management” to insert “necessary and appropriate”.

I am discussing two things here and we can come back to them on Report Stage. The management should be necessary and appropriate management. One of the problems with social housing and the Part V social housing that has been offered in the kinds of mega towers we have seen proposed and other high-end developments is that incredibly high management fees are attached. We have seen the segregation that goes against the entire principles of blended communities, where extortionately high management fees are attached, for example, to an apartment building. That is why I propose the insertion of "necessary and appropriate" management to ensure that we do not have the kind of luxury high-end €6,000 a year management fees, which we have seen in some buildings, in places where there is social housing. Given that this is affordable housing, I think we need to be clear on that.

The other issue relates to adaptation because I recognise that over a lifetime, there may be costs of adaptation.This is in the other direction, recognising a house may need to be adapted in terms of, for example, environmental standards or disability. I do not need to speak at length on these because I will withdraw them and bring them back on Report Stage, given the time pressure. The Minister of State might indicate. I think they are sensible amendments in terms of ensuring we are clear on what things are and are not being included in the costs, that there is not an excessive mark-up and that we do not leave the adaptation costs short because they are potentially important.


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