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Cllr Dermot Lacey

Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council
Dermot Lacey is a Labour Party Councillor for the Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council. Dermot has been a member of Dublin City Council since 1993, and lives in Beech Hill, Donnybrook.
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 / Cllr Dermot Lacey ƒ Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council

Letter to the Editor: Local authority housing provision

The Editor,
Letters Page,
The Irish Times.

Dear Editor,

Breda O’Brien is right. Now there’s a sentence I don’t write all the time. In her article on housing (20th January) she nailed a few home truths and spoke more sense than most commentators on the issue over the last year.

However it may surprise many that one of the solutions advocated by Breda -developing the O’Cualann model of low cost, good quality housing backed by City and County Councils was specifically voted down at a meeting of Dublin City Council last September.

When the Labour Group on the Council proposed that E2.5 million of the retained Local Property Tax fund be allocated to developing the O’Cualann model it was voted down by all Parties except Labour and the Greens. Allocating Budgetary resources is the way you can determine policy priorities. All the other Parties on the Council, despite speaking about housing regularly voted against allocating actual hard money to the problem. We never saw this as The solution ..but it very definitely is one of the solutions.

At present work is taking place on nineteen new social homes in the middle of the estate I live in in Donnybrook. This will be in addition to the nine affordable homes and the six additional social housing units that we found space for in this small estate over the last few years. Twenty eight of these will have been developed by Voluntary Housing Bodies and six by the City Council. All built on what might be called “left over” or Council lands. If this can be done in the heart of Dublin 4 it can be done anywhere. The O’Cualann model, or similar, can be replicated right across our country.

By my reckoning there are approximately 200 villages or parishes across the Dublin area. If each of these were faciliated to deliver a similar number through local housing initaitives assisted by and not hindered by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government we could deliver approximately 6,800 new homes quickly and through the Credit Unions, could be financed locally and off the National Balance sheets.

So come on Minister Murphy look outwards and not into a Department singularly incapable of doing the job. Let the Local Authorities provide the planners, the architects, the quantity surveyors etc. Local Communities can provide the local expertise and indeed the future tenants. We need all kinds of new solutions. Here is one contribution and in our case – we have delivered.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Dermot Lacey

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