Saturday 26 May 2018

Rapid-build homes facing deadline delay

Rapid-build or modular homes were touted as a possible solution to the housing crisis as far back as late 2015, but just 22 – in Ballymun – have been completed since. Stock picture
Rapid-build or modular homes were touted as a possible solution to the housing crisis as far back as late 2015, but just 22 – in Ballymun – have been completed since. Stock picture
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

None of Dublin City Council's four under-construction 'rapid- build' home schemes will be completed by the end of the month as planned.

The delay in delivery of 131 rapid-build homes represents a blow to Housing Minister Simon Coveney's pledge to end the practice of using commercial hotels as accommodation for homeless families by mid-2017.

The completion of the four projects - located at Finglas, Cherry Orchard, Belcamp and Drimnagh - has been revised to quarter three of this year.

Meanwhile, other tranches of homes elsewhere aren't expected to be delivered until as late as 2019.

Figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that there were 695 families in hotels and B&Bs at the end of April. It is hoped the majority will be housed in 18 so-called 'family hubs' - converted buildings better suited to the needs of families - in the coming weeks.

But delivery of rapid-build units was also part of Mr Coveney's strategy to tackle the problem.

Rapid-build or modular homes were touted as a possible solution to the housing crisis as far back as late 2015, but just 22 - in Ballymun - have been completed since.

DCC management told local representatives in March there was "no delay in the rapid delivery programme" with the approximately 130 houses due to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

However, in recent months completion dates for the first phases of four where contractors are currently working on site were revised to quarter three of this year.

A city council spokesman said that 24 units at the Cherry Orchard site were delayed after the contractor submitted a revised programme of works.

Target

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mr Coveney's Housing Department said the Government "remains fully committed" to the mid-2017 target for providing alternative accommodation to families in hotels.

He acknowledged it's a "challenging objective" but said that housing assistance payments, standard social housing and family hubs will contribute to a "significant reduction" in the numbers in hotels in the coming weeks.

Irish Independent

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