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Locals opposed to temporary plan for homeless

An almost derelict council flats complex set for demolition has been proposed as temporary accommodation for the homeless.

Croke Villas, beside Croke Park stadium in Dublin, is set to be knocked down and replaced with new social housing under a deal being hammered out between the GAA and Dublin City Council.

But another proposal features a partial refurbishment of the damp and almost deserted complex to become a temporary home for the growing numbers of homeless people sleeping rough in the city.

Local councillor Nial Ring warned local residents that the long neglected four blocks of flats could be turned into make-shift homes for the homeless.

Twist

The city council has been instructed by the Minister for the Environment to carry out a feasibility study to assess whether Croke Villas can be temporarily refurbished for the homeless, he said.

"This is yet another twist in the never ending saga surrounding this flats complex," he said.

Just eight flats out of 79 units in the complex are occupied by residents after an official policy of emptying the 54 year old complex.

The empty flats have been vandalised, stripped of metal fittings, and many used by drug users and others for anti-social behaviour.

The dilapidated buildings have deteriorated abysmally since their official opening by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1961.

In 2008, the complex was to be regenerated into retail, private apartments and social houses under a Public Private Partnership but the plan collapsed, said Mr Ring.

Agreement is near on a new plan in which the GAA would buy the three acre site and create a "boulevard" entrance to the stadium, along social housing and a new handball centre.

Residents of Croke Villas told the Herald they desperately wanted the re-development scheme to go ahead and are frustrated by delays.

"Any possible refurbishment makes no economic, financial or budgetary sense given the state of the complex and the indication from the Minister that the complex would only be used as a short term facility," he said.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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