No work yet on 677 promised social houses
Construction work has yet to begin on almost 700 social houses promised more than a year ago.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has sought companies to complete site investigations at locations across Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Roscommon, but has not yet sought expressions of interest to build the units.
The sites are earmarked for 677 homes, and most were announced in October last year. But a tender from the NTMA only calls for site investigations to be completed - construction works and expressions of interest from private house-builders are not being sought.
The plans form part of the first bundle of social housing PPPs (public private partnerships) announced in October 2015. The private sector will design, build, finance and manage the homes over a 25-year period, receiving an annual payment in return. The units revert back to the State at the end of the agreement.
They include six sites earmarked for 500 homes, with two more added last July. The delay was defended by the Department of Housing, which said the projects were not behind schedule.
"PPP projects take an estimated 37-48 months to deliver, in total," a spokesman said. "The tender document is in line with this delivery timescale. In general, the European experience is that large public infrastructure projects take a number of years to deliver." The housing schemes range in scale from 53 homes to 150 at a site in Dublin.
Three of the schemes are in the capital, including one of 150 units at Ayrfield, Malahide Road, Dublin. Another 70 units are planned at Scribblestown in Finglas, and 100 at Corkagh Grange in Clondalkin.
Two are in Kildare, with 75 units planned for Craddockstown in Naas, and 80 earmarked for a 6.5-hectare site some 1km west of Clane. Some 84 homes will be built in Dunleer, Co Louth, 65 on the Convent Lands site in Wicklow Town, and 53 at The Walk in Roscommon.