€200m funding to go towards ‘below market rent’ apartments in Ballymun

David Kelly

Last month, Dublin City Council issued a €1 billion tender for factory-built homes to try and reduce the social housing list.

Below market rent build to rent” apartments in Ballymun were proposed by Dublin City Council to combat the housing crisis.

The Cost Rental Residential Project aims to build around 300 apartments priced below the market standard for a fixed period. The project is valued at €200 million and will cover 2.8 acres of council-owned land.

“My concern with this project is that it will be private sector led, and therefore not as affordable as other initiatives. I’m not convinced the private sector can provide effective solutions. I don’t think students will qualify for the project unless they have substantial independent income” said Eoin O’Broin, the Sinn Féin spokesperson for housing, to The College View

Last month, Dublin City Council issued a €1 billion tender for factory-built homes to try and reduce the social housing list. The government’s new Land Development Agency (LDA) is also considering providing additional affordable homes on non-State owned lands.

The average monthly rent in Dublin now stands at €1,936, according to the latest report from Daft.ie. This is a rise of 13.4 per cent since last year. Student accommodation, such as Shanowen Square, have also raised their prices to €9000 for one academic year.

“The cost of rental should have no link to market rents whatsoever. There could bands of rent within the cost of rental depending on someone’s income. These things are meant to be available to people. If rent is set a certain level for those on a combined €75 thousand a year say, it would exclude those on 55 thousand or 60 thousand,” said O’Broin to the Journal.ie.

O’Broin said that even putting rental prices 15 per cent below the market standard would be too expensive for most people. He pointed to a housing project in Inchicore as an example of a progressive housing initiative. It’s Ireland’s first ever ‘cost rental’ housing scheme.

Under this new scheme, housing is built to ensure that rents are based on the cost of providing, financing, building, and maintaining the development, rather than to maximise profit. The Cost Rental Residential Project is being provided on the private market.

O’Broin was involved with the introduction of The Residential Tenancies Bill 2018 which aims to protect students against steep rent increases by private owned accommodation providers. This bill is currently in the committee stage of the Dáil.

“The Bill would also ensure that tenants have access to the RTB [Residential Tenancies Board] dispute resolution process in cases such as deposit retention and maintenance issues,” said DCU SU president, Vito Moloney Burke.

By David Kelly

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