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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Council pays out €25m for D4 social housing

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan. Photo: Mark Condren
Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan. Photo: Mark Condren

Ryan Nugent and Paul Melia

Dublin City Council chief Owen Keegan has described the purchase of more than 50 Dublin 4 apartments for almost €25m as "expensive" but admitted the council had to take the plunge.

Some of the units at Shelbourne Plaza on Charlotte Quay are costing the council more than €500,000 each.

The council is set to buy four three-bedroom units at €535,000 each, 42 two-bedroom apartments at €410,000 and six-one bedroom apartments costing €340,000 each.

The average acquisition cost works out at €411,000 per unit.

In a statement released to councillors last night, council housing chief Brendan Kenny said that the "turnkey development came onto the market and was offered to the City Council as an off-site proposal in respect of its Part V Social Housing commitment for the Lansdowne Place site being developed in Ballsbridge [Berkeley Court]."

The units have been purchased from Chartered Land, who have made a financial contribution.

"Dublin City Council has agreed a purchase price of €24.5m for Shelbourne Plaza and Chartered Land has made a financial contribution of €2.7m towards this," Mr Kenny explained.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, council boss Mr Keegan said the acquisition cost was "disappointing" due to how expensive it was working out.

Disappointing

"It's a real challenge for us. It's disappointing they are expensive," he said.

"The acquisition cost is very high.

"Everybody would be very concerned if the recovery were to be confined to housing out of reach of middle-income aspiring house purchases.

"In some cases, we're just taking the plunge and buying the units.

"I think it's great there will be social housing in this development, I just wish it wasn't so expensive," he added.

Local councillor Mannix Flynn said while the purchasing of homes to be used for social housing was welcome, he felt there was a need for councillors to have a say in these acquisitions. He said there should be more information provided in reports to see if there was value for money.

"The councillors have a say when it comes to dispensing of council property but we don't have that say with acquisitions," he said.

Irish Independent

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