Council acquires 65 vacant units at Tallaght Cross complex
SOUTH Dublin County Council has pioneered a new approach to the capital’s housing crisis, after it acquired 65 vacant apartments at Tallaght Cross for homeless families to move into.
The Echo has learned that the local authority has purchased the units through NAMA’s Special Purpose Vehicle [NARPS], with the first families - all of whom are on South Dublin County Council’s housing list and currently living in hotels - expected to move in this June.
The 65 temporary units, which are a mix of one, two and three bed apartments, will be managed on behalf of the council by TUATH approved housing authority and in association with Focus Ireland.
Focus Ireland will provide families with the necessary support to secure their own accommodation and move on from Tallaght Cross – through the Homeless Executive [HAP] project for the Dublin Region.
The Echo understands that South Dublin County Council has been working on this collaborative development for the past 18 months – during which time they have ensured that each of the 65 units, which are spread across the Tallaght Cross complex, were finished to a high standard.
Sinn Fein councillor Cathal King told The Echo: “The council’s housing department really deserve kudos for this.
“It’s a welcome development and a number of families that have been allocated an apartment have already been in touch expressing their delight.
“These families have been stuck in hotel rooms right across the city with no cooking or proper washing facilities and now they have been given the chance to move into more suitable accommodation while they find their own home.”
He added: “Also, the timing of the development couldn’t have been better.
“A lot of hotels are trying to free up their rooms for the summer trade so as a council we would have been faced with the challenge of finding alternative accommodation for families.
“It really is a win-win situation for everybody and once the housing crisis is addressed, the units will go back into the council’s stock.”
The Echo understands that, in the interest of better social integration, there are no plans to increase the size of the housing initiative from 65 units.
Fianna Fail councillor John Lahart said: “This is a welcome development by the council, anything that takes families out of hotel accommodation is positive.
“It is important however, that the 65 units are integrated into an overall balanced development of social, private-rented and private apartments – this is what builds a community.”
Independent councillor Dermot Richardson also expressed his support for the development.
He said: “Families were left waiting in hotel rooms while they tried to find accommodation.
“Now, they can stay in suitable accommodation while receiving the support necessary to find their own home.
“The council will be watching this to see how it progresses but this initiative definitely has the ability to make a big difference in the lives of local families.”
In June of last year, NAMA proposed to offer 500 empty apartments in the Tallaght Cross complex to applicants on the social housing list.
However, speaking to The Echo at the time, South Dublin County Council expressed its concerns over the size of the proposal which, the local authority believed, would not be sustainable or in the interest of community integration.