Social Democrats’ Dublin City Councillors today voiced strong opposition to current plans for the development of O’Devaney Gardens and urged the council to come up with proposals for public housing on the site that is genuinely affordable.

Cllr Gary Gannon said:

“The O’Devaney Gardens site is one of the largest tracts of public land currently in the possession of the State. If we are not going to provide public affordable housing at this State-owned land, then where else is left?

“The Social Democrats have engaged extensively with Dublin City Council on this issue, but what is being offered currently is not a good deal for the citizens of Dublin, certainly not to the extent that it is for the private developers who stand to profit to the tune of €67 million from this transfer of public land into private ownership.

“Council management have also failed to provide clarity with the legal advice received as to why an option for ‘affordable rental’ could not be placed at this location, and have also been coy on the issue of whether the Council will be required to pay management fees for the social housing units that will be placed at this location, despite the fact 78 per cent of the land will technically remain in their control.

“We will not be complicit in a development that further excludes people and families already excluded from the prospect of secure tenure or home ownership in our city. Public representatives have a responsibility to future generations of this city. This is a bad deal and will do little to support the vast number of people already struggling to access secure housing in Dublin.”

Councillor Catherine Stocker added:

“Under the current plan, 70 per cent of the homes would be for private sale. Even after government subsidies, the so-called “affordable” family-sized homes will still cost between €350,000 and €420,000 for two-and three-bedroom units.

“The Council needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with proposals for this site that deliver homes that are genuinely affordable. We’ve seen that this can work with St Michael’s site in the south city where houses are being provided on a public site that are a mixture of social housing and affordable rental or cost-rental.

“Subsidising people to buy yet more expensive houses is no way to tackle the crisis of affordability in our city. This is Fine Gael once more creating the illusion of addressing the housing crisis. This attempt to reframe what constitutes “affordable housing” is a further indictment of the appalling record of this Fine Gael government and another example of the wealthy interests which they so clearly prioritise over the common good.”


17th September 2019

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