Applicants differ on the price of affordable housing

The properties of the glass bottle site development project, designated as affordable housing, are expected to be available for purchase for € 260,000 to € 300,000, according to the Fine Gael candidate in the Dublin Bay South by-election.

During a debate among the by-election candidates on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, James Geoghegan said the project would be a “great opportunity for affordable housing in the city” and is the model that will provide affordable housing to buy. and for rent in the future. .

Her figures were dismissed by Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan, who said she expects affordable housing at the Glass Bottle site to cost between € 450,000 and € 500,000.

Senator Boylan said that former Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, whose resignation resulted in the by-election, “refused to buy the half-price glass bottle site offered to him by NAMA. We could have had almost 4,000 at an affordable price. houses delivered to the local community ”.

Instead, she said a developer was building the properties. She said the “vast majority” of these would be luxury apartments built for rental, “even affordable housing is more likely to be € 450,000 to € 500,000, which is absolutely not affordable. for the people who live in this community “.

Labor candidate Ivana Bacik said the two successive governments since 2016 had “failed” to ensure that their policies were not driven by institutional investors.

She said there were “five wasted years,” she said, “when we had prosperity, when the government should have done a lot more to encourage construction and encourage the construction of social and affordable housing. “.

Senator Bacik said: “What we needed and what we now need is an investment from the state to build houses on public land. What we were trying to do before was to rely on a developer-led model and that has clearly failed. “

Green Party candidate Claire Byrne said her party in government had made sure that legislation for the “hire-cost model” would be in place by the end of this term, she said. , this will mean that the state will build houses that will be re-let. at about 40-50% less than the current market rate.

She said this would apply to the development of the glass bottle site and that there would be “a range of options to meet a range of income.”

Fianna Fáil candidate Deirdre Conroy said there would be at least 850 affordable housing units on the site. The Ministry of Housing has not yet given a precise figure.

Meanwhile, the People Before Profit candidate said she doesn’t believe public and social housing causes anti-social problems, “it’s the lack of public services and community support that does this.” Brigid Purcell said she believes units should be made available to people based on their income.

At the same time, the Social Democrat candidate declared that it was “absolutely essential” that the proposed new national maternity hospital “be public and secular”. Sarah Durcan said: “We have to fix governance and ownership. And this government has kicked the road again and again.”

Regarding the Special Criminal Court, Ms Boylan said she was not against, which her party had long opposed.

She said her party had called for a court review because “the country needs a 21st century justice system to enable us to tackle 21st century crime.”

Asked by presenter Áine Lawlor if she was against the Special Criminal Court, she replied: “No, we support all courts.

The candidates for the by-election are:

Ivana Bacik (Work)

Justin Barrett (National Party)

Lynn Boylan (Sinn Fein)

Claire Byrne (Green Party)

Dolores Cahill (independent)

Deirdre Conroy (Fianna Fail)

Peter Dooley (Independent)

Sarah Durcan (social democrat)

Mannix Flynn (independent)

James Geoghegan (Fine Gael)

Jacqui Gilbourne (Renua)

John Keigher (independent)

Colm O’Keefe (Independent)

Brigid Purcell (People Before Profit)

Mairéad Tóibín (Aontú)

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