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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Beaumont residents are objecting to a new social housing development in their area

The Thornwood development was bought by Túath Housing last month.

Source: Beaumont Residents Association

RESIDENTS OF BEAUMONT in north Dublin are objecting to a new development in their area being used fully for social housing.

Túath Housing bought a development of 68 homes last month at the Thornwood development in Beaumont which is nearing completion.

The homes were bought with a loan from the Housing Finance Agency in conjunction with the Department of the Environment.

Túath said that the houses will be handed over for occupation to tenants on Dublin City Council’s social housing waiting list “in the coming months”.

However, residents in the area have objected to the development being used fully for social housing, with one man saying that an influx of too many social housing tenants would “upset the balance” of the area.

Des Maguire, chairman of the Beaumont Residents Association, told TheJournal.ie that people in the area had concerns about the development and that the sale of the houses to be used as social housing had been “cloaked in secrecy”.

“The main concerns appear to be that 100% of the site is sold for social housing,” he said.

Beaumont Residents Association supports social housing provided it’s integrated and in compliance with the rules of Part V of the Housing Act.
People want to know what exactly is happening because this has been cloaked in secrecy and nobody has been consulted about it.

Part V of the Planning and Development Act (2000) deals with administering social housing and private developments.

Under the act, at least 10% of housing from a private development must be set aside for social housing. However, any amount upward of this can be also be purchased.

Section 3 (d) states that any housing strategy needs “to counteract undue segregation in housing between persons of different social backgrounds”.

In a statement, Dublin City Council said that Tuath’s proposal for the housing was “carefully considered” and approved by all the relevant State bodies.

In response to the residents’ objections about Part V the council said:

It should also be noted that there is no policy requirement for mixed tenure in estates of this size and that the scheme and Túath’s acquisition is fully compliant with planning and other relevant policies concerning the provision of social housing.

The residents association has engaged planning experts Downey Planning to investigate whether the development adheres to Part V.

Residents will hold a private meeting tonight at the Mercy College in Beaumont in order to discuss their concerns – with council officials and representatives from Túath invited to attend.

Túath declined to attend the meeting tonight. However, a spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that representatives of the organisation would be willing to meet to residents association in private.

Response

In a statement, Túath said that comments attributed to residents of Beaumont were “ill-informed” and that the job it did in providing social housing was “in line with current housing policy and social housing strategy”.

“Túath works on behalf of Local Authorities and the State,” the agency said.

Túath provides homes for ordinary people, mostly decent working class people, some of whom may have had mortgages before or who have been unfortunate and lost their homes due to unemployment or massive rent hikes or perhaps they simply have young families and can’t afford the deposit for their own home.

The agency said that purchasing the Thornwood development was “an extraordinary response to an extraordinary housing situation” and that it had “ramped up its housing output” in response to the worsening crisis.

c67b3c88-b1f1-4767-a616-7f4d2f0ed31e Representatives from Túath Housing at a newly purchased development Source: Maxwell Photography

“Túath’s purchase of these homes does not require for the association to consult and or seek permission from local residents,” it said.

Please remember that we are the purchaser in this arrangement, not the developer nor builder.

Túath also said that there was a strict vetting process in place for potential residents. All applicants are interviewed and Garda vetted in advance and the agency has strict rules in place with regards to anti-social behaviour.

Des Maguire of the residents association said that Beaumont was a diverse area with a low crime rate and that residents didn’t want to see the “balance” of the area upset.

“We don’t want to upset the balance of putting a large group of any type of people together,” he said.

We want to integrate [people] – we’re very interested in working together with the council and whoever else to help to integrate people into this society.
We’re well aware of the homeless [situation] and how sensitive it is… and we want to do our bit.

Read: Fingal County Council confirms it’s trying to buy Tyrrelstown houses

Read: New homes for over 100 families on Dublin housing waiting list

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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