The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has written to Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe to outline its concerns over the proposed sale of Dublin City Council land to private developers. The move followed a discussion of the housing development at Dublin’s O’Devaney Gardens at the ICTU executive last week.
Congress says the land should remain in public hands, rather than being passed over to a private developer as part of a ‘housing land initiative’.
Its general secretary Patricia King said it would be “unconscionable to hand over public land for commercial exploitation” and said this would be a “short-sighted move with profound implications.”
Under existing proposals, the developer would be free to build 800 units made up of 50% private housing, 30% social housing, and 20% ‘affordable’ housing. It is understood that the ‘affordable’ homes would be priced at over €300,000.
Patricia said the reported costs of these ‘affordable’ homes proved that building publically-owned housing on public land was the most efficient way of providing genuinely affordable social housing.
“We remain committed to the provision of affordable public homes to address the housing and homelessness crisis. The long and disturbing history of the O’Devaney Gardens project proves that reliance on private developers or public-private partnerships is a flawed policy,” she said.
Some years ago an earlier plan to build on the site was scuppered when a private developer pulled out of a public-private partnership.