Tuesday 6 December 2016

At least 22 families in modular homes by Christmas

Paul Melia Environment Editor

Published 21/10/2015 | 11:44

Monday 14 October 2015. East Wall Fire Station. Modular Homes Display. This house is by Modular Homes Ireland.
Monday 14 October 2015. East Wall Fire Station. Modular Homes Display. This house is by Modular Homes Ireland.
Monday 14 October 2015. East Wall Fire Station. Modular Homes Display. This house is by Skyclad.
Monday 14 October 2015. East Wall Fire Station. Modular Homes Display. This house is by Modular Homes Ireland.

AT LEAST 22 families will be housed in modular homes by Christmas.

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The Government has approved plans to deliver 500 prefabricated housing units for homeless families across Dublin, with 22 will be in place by December 21.

And another 150 to be delivered under a fast-track procurement process, Environment Minister Alan Kelly said this morning, with the remaining 350 to be purchased by the Office for Government Procurement.

The four Dublin local authorities will be told to fast-track the units through the planning process, so that families can be housed as quickly as possible.

Dublin City Council has sought tenders to deliver 22 two-storey units on a site in North Dublin, which will include three bedrooms and are designed to accommodate five people.

The closing date for receipt of tender is next Tuesday, and the homes must be ready for occupation no later than December 21.

The move comes as figures from September show there are 3,428 adults and 1,571 children living in emergency accommodation across the State – a rise on those without a home in August.

Of these, 738 are families, with the vast majority - 637 - in the capital.

This morning, Mr Kelly said that local authorities would be directed to use fast-track planning powers so that modular units would be in place as quickly as possible.

“The housing market in Dublin was left destroyed during the recession and this sector is not recovering quickly enough to keep up with demand,” he said.

“Therefore, as a temporary measure while supply is coming on stream, I will be funding the delivery of 500 modular units for families in Dublin experiencing homelessness.”

The prefabricated houses can be assembled within days and include bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and storage facilities.

They are expected to cost some €100,000 each.

A site has been prepared in north Dublin to accommodate 22 units, which must be designed to last for 60 years.

In addition, they must be capable of being expanded to provide more living accommodation.

The site has been prepared and roads and services including water, electricity and telecoms are in place. Foundations will have to be laid.

“Kitchen, dining and living room areas should be designed to have as much natural light incorporated into the design as possible and take into account the orientation of the sun in relation to the main living rooms,” tender documents state.

“The quality of the overall design is very important in the long term in relation to the maintenance and management of the development, but also in the interests of the residents and the quality of the environment that they will be living in.”

Families housed in the units will not be considered as being housed, and will remain on local authority waiting lists. However, the units will form part of the council’s housing stock.

The modular housing programme is being implemented as the number of people recorded as homeless rose between August and September.

In August, there were 3,372 adult homeless, 707 families and 1,496 children.

On one night in Dublin, 401 families were accommodated in hotels.

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