Saturday 3 December 2016

Modular housing on 'anti-social' sites in Dublin could lead to 'mini ghettos' and 'shanty towns', councillor warns

Published 29/10/2015 | 19:10

A sample of the modular homes that may be used
A sample of the modular homes that may be used

A Dublin councillor says the location of modular housing units in communities where there is "social disadvantage" could lead to "mini-ghettos" and "shanty towns".

  • Go To

Cllr Daithi De Roiste (FF) said modular housing could work if located in more suitable sites and with the correct supports in place.

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 Skyclad.

"When you look across the continent, you've got modular housing but with high levels of support from the likes of Dublin City Council. A high level of support from the likes of the HSE, the Department of Justice, the gardai, I've seen no evidence for any of these supports to go in," he told RTE Radio One programme 'Drivetime'.

"And what you see they're going to be put in there as a so-called temporary solution and they're going to just exist there and I suppose mini-ghettos and shanty towns etc will grow out of this."

Daithi De Roiste
Daithi De Roiste

Cllr De Roiste said he told Dublin City Council manager Owen Keegan that the suggestion that the five sites selected by the council for modular housing were subjected to "rigorous examination" was "laughable".

The sites are in predominantly disadvantaged areas of the capital - Ballyfermot and Crumlin on the south of the city, and Finglas, Darndale and Ballymun on the north side.

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.

There are 637 families without a home in the Dublin city area at present.

Families housed in the modular units will not be considered as being housed on a permanent basis, and will remain on local authority waiting lists.

However, the sites for the modular housing has sparked great concern.

"[They are] all sites that would be, I suppose, having problems at the moment," Cllr De Roiste told RTE broadcaster Mary Wilson.

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 Skyclad.

"There would be a lot of social disadvantage going on and to say that these sites were selected after rigorous examination I think is absolutely laughable."

If construction of these modular housing projects proceeds at these sites, Cllr De Roiste said it was highly unlikely they would be completed by Christmas.

"I don't think that they can [when asked if these sites can take modular housing by Christmas]. When we went to view the modular housing units, we were told it would take eight weeks to put them up.

"Now if they're only proposing starting the third week of November, how they will get them up for the 21st of December, I don't know.

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.

"That's the plan apparently for the first 22 which appears to be going over to Poppintree in Ballymun.

"But what we need to say is when we're talking about site selection, it's amazing that the Council don't seem to own sites in Clontarf, or Sandymount, or Rathgar or Rathmines.

"Well they most certainly do, believe you me they do," he said.

"But for some reason, I don't know whether it's social cleansing or something going on, they seem to have picked the most disadvantaged sites," he added.

Referring to the Cherry Orchard site in his own area, he told Drivetime: "I said to the manager just there essentially if you set out to pick a more worse site they couldn't have done a better job.

"What's wrong with it? Well first of all it's slap bang in the middle of what is an anti-social, and has been referred to as a 'no go area' in recent times. In the past six months, there has been really really bad anti-social behaviour problems.

"It is a housing area. There's been robbed cars, there's been gardai injured, there's been [sic] a garda car rammed and taken off the streets. We have seen instances where young kids have been shot at at that site. We saw a 19-year-old only shot and seriously injured five or six weeks ago.

"The site that they're after picking there is so inappropriate. In the past couple of weeks, we have made some really good strides with the gardai in putting together a new policing plan. And simply putting in modular housing in on top of this? It's nonsensical. It absolutely makes no sense."

The local representative, who told listeners he was born in Ballyfermot and resides there, stressed that he was not worried about people in modular housing adding to the anti social behaviour in the area.

"There are two strands. One with the anti social behaviour, particularly the robbed cars and the rallying of stolen vehciles, I would have a real fear that with how close the site is to that road, that a car could just fly off the road very very easily and wipe out a number of these [modular units] if it is going at speed.

"And then secondly, when we look at modular housing and we got reports on modular housing, we were brought through best practice of what goes on across the continent.

"When you look across the continent, you've got modular housing but with high levels of support from the likes of Dublin City Council. A high level of support from the likes of the HSE, the Department of Justice, the gardai, I've seen no evidence for any of these supports to go in.

"And what you see they're going to be put in there as a so-called temporary solution and they're going to just exist there and I suppose mini-ghettos and shanty towns etc will grow out of this."

He said he would be in favour of the Drimnagh site, but only if the proper supports are in place.

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Chris Andrews also called on RTE to make available some of its campus for the proposed modular housing units.

Responding to claims by RTE that its base in Donnybrook would not be suitable and that the units would be disruptive to filming, Cllr Andrews said:

"RTE's argument against utilising its vastly underused campus for this purpose is weak and smacks of not in my back yard mentality.

"By allocating some of its land towards these units and by taking steps towards alleviating the housing emergency in our city, RTE would demonstrate its commitment to making things better instead of just facilitating commentary on the issue."

Read more here:

'How are these families going to be selected?' - Locations of first modular houses for homeless revealed 

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News