To: Dublin City Council
Build Public Housing Belcamp Lane/Northern Cross
In the midst of the housing crisis we need serious proposals for public housing (social & affordable) on state owned sites zoned for residential development
Why is this important?
The housing crisis is now worse than at any point in the state’s history
- 10,000 Homeless (1,739 Homeless Families – 3, 755 Homeless Children)
- Average Rents Across Dublin = €1,614
- Government subsidies to landlords in 2017 = over €623k
- 600,000 young people stuck at home, unable to access housing according to last census
It was recently reported that there is enough state owned land (local authority and NAMA) zoned for residential development to build over 110,000 units https://www.irishtimes.com/…/state-owns-enough-zoned-land-t…
Yet what has Dublin City Council's approach been to the development of the land it owns?
In the case of the Lawrence Lands (Oscar Traynor Rd) they plan to mostly privatised the site with developers being invited to construct all 600 plus units but keep 70% for themselves (50% purely for profit and 20% for an undefined ‘affordable’ rent) with just the remaining 30% for public housing.
At this rate we will never house those on the housing list as well as the hundreds of thousands who cannot even apply for public housing let alone the additional demand the arises year on year.
Rather than waiting for similar bad proposals for other council owned sites the initiative should be taken by housing campaigners and public representatives to propose how best public land can be used to help resolve the crisis.
Solidarity's alternative proposal for Belcamp Lane/Northern Cross
Local Solidarity Councillor Michael O'Brien is proposing an alternative approach across the state where public housing (social and affordable) is built on publicly owned land. Take the Belcamp Lane site at Northern Cross which is council owned but where there are no plans on the horizon to build housing.
Solidarity proposes that some 500 apartments and duplexes, similar in design to Newtown Court could be built and made available for 50% social and 50% affordable housing to local people with a housing need. This would be financed through the Social Housing Investment Fund.
Accommodation meeting the needs of the local Traveller community could also be delivered on this site.
Cllr O'Brien engaged the voluntary services of an architect to come up with an indicated site plan which shows what could be done. In this plan there are
- the are 119 units on each floor (i.e. 4 floors = 476 units, allowing for duplexes).
- the 3 beds are 100m2, the 2 beds are 81m2, the studios are 45.5m2 (a duplex would be two studios one on top of the other).
- all units (except at the north of the site) are accessed from the north and have southeast or southwest facing balconies, and share south facing gardens (the public open space is mostly divided up between the units in this way).
- there are pedestrian routes connecting the blocks, so that some of the ground floor plans will be different to allow for this
This is not a fixed proposal set in stone but a vision of what can be done. If community support can be built up for this proposal, taking on board further suggestions and amendments this plan will be brought to Dublin City Council's North Central Area Committee and Housing Special Policy Committee with a view to securing the support from other councillors and putting the ball in the court of the Council officials to seriously engage.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/PublicHousingBelcampNorthernX/ for the progress of the campaign