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'It's time to send a strong message': 24-hour protest calling for Nama site to be used for social housing

This week a petition with 3,500 signatures calling for a halt to the sale of the site was handed into the Department of Finance.

Protesters at the Sandyford site today.
Protesters at the Sandyford site today.
Image: Dundrum Housing Action

Updated 7pm 

RESIDENTS AND HOUSING activists in the South Dublin suburb of Sandyford are staging a 24-hour protest today at a site owned by a Nama debtor that is to be sold.

The site, which is being sold by a receiver, already has planning permission for 459 apartments. Although Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has the option of bidding for the site, it is likely to be sold to a private company or landlord.

Earlier this week Dundrum Housing Action handed in a petition with more than 3,500 signatures to the Department of Finance.

Kelly Priestley, Glen Kilty and their two-year-old son Alan, who were made homeless this year after renting in Sandyford for four years spoke to after the group handed in the petition: 

The family is living in a homeless hub in Monkstown now and is one of many on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s social housing list.

The protest group wants the site to be used to offer housing to families in need, like this one. But it is likely that a private landlord or fund will purchase the site and offer a small social housing provision. 

The sale brochure notes that there is an outflow of individual residential investors from the market, which it says is “increasing the requirement for institutional residential landlords”. 

It also highlights the fact that just 1% of accommodation in Dublin was available to rent in August this year and that apartment rents are increasing by 8% per year. 

Included in the brochure is details of a feasibility study, which suggests the buyer could actually fit 539 units on the site, rather than the 459 it has planning for. The buyer, would of course, be required to submit a new planning application. 

sandyford site



Dundrum Housing Action has expressed concern about the details of this proposed new plan. If approved, it would see the number of studio apartments in the complex increase from one to 81 and the number of one-beds from 92 to 156. 

At the time, it says the number of three-bed apartments could drop from 63 to just 29. And it suggests reducing the number of two-bed properties as well as reducing their size. 

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Dundrum Housing Action said these changes, aimed at maximising profits for the landlord, would restrict the options for many families in the area who will be looking for housing when the development is built. 

The group is staging a 24-hour protest at the site that kicked off at 12pm today.

“Now is the time to send a very strong message to our local Fine Gael elected reps and Shane Ross. Use your influence to secure affordable homes for our community, or risk losing your seats in the next election,” the group said on Facebook.

Responding to a query from about the sale of the site, a Nama spokesperson said:

“This site is not owned by Nama. It is owned by a Nama debtor.

“Its sale is being carried out by a receiver in accordance with the receiver’s fiduciary requirements to the site owner and the requirements of the Nama Act to maximise the amount recovered for the taxpayer.

The receiver’s obligation is to maximise the amount recovered on behalf of the debtor and therefore he cannot sell it at less than market value.

“It is open to any party, including the local authority, to bid for the site.”

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