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Dublin: 23°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

'Plans to house homeless in O'Devaney Gardens won't go down well with residents'

The block of flats, was earmarked for redevelopment under a public-private partnership.

O'Devaney Gardens flats.
O'Devaney Gardens flats.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A PLAN TO provide temporary accommodation for homeless families in the boarded-up flats of O’Devaney Gardens has been slammed by a local Dublin Councillor.

It’s believed the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly wants to refurbish 62 of the Dublin City Council flats at a cost of almost €5 million.

The minister outlined the concept in his action plan on homelessness published last December. He has yet to give full approval.

Dublin Sinn Féin councillor Janice Boylan said Minister Kelly’s decision to house homeless families in the condemned block of flats “is a clear injustice to the 19 families still living there waiting on either relocation or on a much needed regeneration announcement”. 

The block of flats, which dates from the 1950s, was earmarked for redevelopment under a public-private partnership between the council and a private developer.

However, the deal fell through and the council could not raise the necessary funds.

She said that people who continue to live in the flats have been living in “appalling conditions” for years.

The plans are also unjust for families who vacated the flats because they were to be demolished, and now they are to be refurbished for other people, she said.

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“I would be the first person to admit we have a homeless and housing crisis which developed due to the failure of this government and previous ones to build good, affordable homes for people,” she said. 

Boylan added that there was once a thriving community in O’Devaney Gardens, adding that families would have stayed had they known redevelopment for new housing was not to go forward.

They won’t see this plan as a good idea. I have people who moved to Finglas looking to come back. I have people living with their parents in overcrowded homes looking to be housed in O’Devaney. Some of these people have spent years on the housing list.

She called for full regeneration of the area to bring it back up to a standard.

I cannot stress enough my concern for homeless families. However I feel a more comprehensive, cost effective regeneration plan suits this area best.

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