Saturday 1 October 2016

'Accommodation shortage could be eased by floatels' - ex-Lord Mayor’s bizarre proposal to end crisis

Robin Schiller

Published 22/09/2016 | 02:30

Ms Freehill (70) said that the Council should investigate the possibility 'of encouraging floatels to Dublin' in conjunction with the local port and docklands authority. Photo: GETTY
Ms Freehill (70) said that the Council should investigate the possibility 'of encouraging floatels to Dublin' in conjunction with the local port and docklands authority. Photo: GETTY

A former Lord Mayor of Dublin has floated a bizarre proposal to place people on ships in an effort to alleviate the capital's accommodation crisis.

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Labour Party member Mary Freehill, who is a Dublin City Council representative for the Rathmines/Pembroke area, submitted the motion at the local authority's Planning SPC.

Ms Freehill (70) said that the Council should investigate the possibility "of encouraging floatels to Dublin" in conjunction with the local port and docklands authority.

"These are large accommodation ships that can accommodate 200 separate living units and anchored on water," Ms Freehill said.

"They are widely used to accommodate oil workers in areas where there is a shortage of accommodation. Also they are used in Asian countries and come with all different specifications and standards of accommodation.

"Conscious to the current cost and shortage of accommodation for students and workers in Dublin, it might be worth exploring this type of accommodation on a temporary basis for say two years until the supply of accommodation increases," the Labour representative added.

Mary Freehill was elected as Dublin Lord Mayor in 1999.

Meanwhile, religious orders have been urged to offer the state any vacant or disused priests' homes, convents and buildings to ease the housing and homeless crisis.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney issued the plea yesterday after revealing three properties have been handed over in Cork, Kerry and Waterford in recent months.

Eighteen congregations signed deals with the state to meet €350m of the cost of compensating abuse survivors.

By last year €42m worth of property was handed over but Mr Coveney appealed for all religious orders in the country to consider if they could donate any other buildings or homes to put a roof over people's heads.

"If there are any religious congregations listening and you have properties that are no longer in use or you are looking to vacate in the coming months or years we are interested in talking to you. Please make contact with us directly," Mr Coveney said.

Irish Independent

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