Sunday 2 May 2010

Council faces €42m bill for affordable homes in Dun Laoghaire

DÚN LAOGHAIRE Rathdown County Council faces a bill of €42 million upon completion of 170 social and affordable homes on the former Dún Laoghaire Golf Club lands.

The council has to pay Cosgrave Developments €35.6 million of the money owed when the first 143 social and affordable units are finished and handed over to the council later this year. The homes are being built on a corner of of the site, at the junction of Glenageary Road Upper and Kill Avenue. Cosgraves is one of the top 10 development companies whose loans have been transferred to Nama.

The agreement over pricing was made in June 2008 when planning permission for the scheme was granted by An Bord Pleanála.

The remaining proposed 27 units, made up of five social and 22 affordable units, will cost the council a further €7.3 million, if they are granted planning permission and built.

The amount owed to Cosgrave Developments was revealed at a council meeting on Monday in response to a question by independent councillor Victor Boyhan asking that a report on the cost of the units be provided.

In relation to the social units, the council has agreed to pay an average of €149,284 each for 20 one-bedroom units, €250,062 for 46 two-bedroom units and €310,480 for 19 three-beds.

For the affordable units, the 21 one-bedroom units were €178,490, the 62 two-beds were €293,109 and two three-beds were €310,480.

The council’s housing department has asked the Department of the Environment to fund the 85 social housing units in the scheme, for which the cost is over €20 million.

The council currently has 2,026 applicants on its affordable housing list, and says it is “optimistic” about selling on the units in the Cosgrave development to suitable applicants.

When asked how the council’s budget would be affected if there’s insufficient take-up of the units, a spokesperson from the council said “demand from applicants for affordable housing already provided in the Dún Laoghaire area has been high, therefore we are optimistic that there will be a demand for the apartments in the golf club development”. The council says it is anticipating capital expenditure of around €180 million in 2010, but says this figure is subject “to the availability of funding and/or the resolution of legal or other issues”.

Next week Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council plans to put 117 affordable units in Stepaside and Sandyford on the open market due to lack of interest from applicants on the affordable housing list. The acquisition cost of these units was €27.5 million.

Irish Times

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