Sunday 23 September 2018

State to spend up to €400m on 1,700 'rapid-delivery' houses

An example of a modular home. Photo: Doug.ie
An example of a modular home. Photo: Doug.ie
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

The State is to spend up to €400m on 1,700 modular homes to help reduce social housing waiting lists.

Up to 20 companies have been asked to supply units, which can be erected quicker than 'traditional' homes.

Tender documents show the homes - and must be designed to last for 60 years - will cost between €250m and €400m. This equates to a cost per unit of €147,000 to €235,000. Three-bedroom homes for families of five, and two-bedroom units for households with four people are being sought.

The tender comes after the Government's 'Rebuilding Ireland' housing plan set out proposals to use 1,500 rapid-delivery units to tackle the social housing crisis. However, tenders published yesterday show the number has swelled by an extra 200.

Some 200 are expected to be in place by the end of this year, another 800 in 2017 and the remainder in 2018.

One council, Fingal in north Dublin, has sought companies to provide 20 units at a site at Wellview in Mulhuddart, west Dublin. Units are already in place or being erected at Poppintree in Ballymun, Drimnagh, Belcamp, Ballyfermot and Finglas.

The tender comes as the most recent figures show that 6,525 people remain trapped in emergency hotel and B&B accommodation across the country, a year-on-year increase of 40pc. The number includes 2,348 children. The Simon Communities said the figures were the highest on record. The Government has promised that emergency accommodation will only be used in limited circumstances by the middle of next year.

The documents state the proposed units are intended for "long-term use" and must be designed to last for 60 years. They are typically pre-fabricated in a factory and assembled on site, and they must also comply with existing building regulations. The homes will be built in clusters of between 30 and 50 units, and public bodies should begin acquiring the homes from October. The contract will last for no more than four years.

Irish Independent

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