Wednesday 20 September 2017

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Cork Independent

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City gives go-ahead for 109 more social housing units

Thursday, 3rd August, 2017 9:06am

More than 100 housing were given the green light by Cork City Council, this week.

109 social housing units are on course to be developed in the city centre following a special meeting of Cork City Council on Monday night.

Developments approved included White Street, which will see 43 units built; Barrack Street is to receive 32 units, while Blarney Street is set for 25 units and nine units are going to High Street.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said that these schemes will provide much-needed homes to families and lead to the upgrading of derelict and underutilised inner city sites, bring greater vibrancy to communities.

He also said that they are located near quality transport links and existing city centre facilities.

This brings the number of housing units that have been approved in the past three weeks by Cork City Council to 164, in locations across the city.

Earlier in the month, council members sanctioned an additional four schemes that enabled another 55 units of accommodation.

Housing and Community Director of Services, Valerie O’Sullivan said: “From now on, the construction of high quality apartment homes will need to be a large part of the sustainable solution to the housing crisis in city centre locations.

“In our response here in Cork, we are actively seeking solutions in urban site assembly as part of the Rebuilding Ireland Government initiative."

The Cork City Council Housing Directorate undertook comprehensive public consultation with the host communities and Cork City Council members as part of this process, the council said.

Ms O’Sullivan added: “We have listened carefully and the feedback and concerns from the submissions was considered and taken on board. Indeed, many submissions give a very positive welcome for these developments as advertised.

“This engagement has resulted in further significant and positive changes to the designs and layouts of the advertised applications in some cases, which is great to see.”

Solidarity Cllr Fiona Ryan said that developments put forward to vote, on Monday night, prove that when the funding is made available and a political will exists, that significant social housing building can be put forward.

She said: “These units are a positive step however, we are still facing the consequences of decades of lack of investment in local authority housing. The private market continues to fail to address the chronic lack of supply that exists in the housing market and therefore the onus is on the State to meet the demand.

She also told the Cork Independent that she is hoping - when the council meets again after the summer break - they will continue with an “orientation towards social housing” and maximise the use of existing publicly owned land.

“And not towards gifting private developers a land bonanza when they have proven to have failed in providing a solution, historically and to this day,” she concluded.

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