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Housing Minister praises “fantastic work” by Fingal County Council in delivering housing

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has praised Fingal County Council for the progress it has made on the delivery of housing across the region, stating that the local authority is doing “fantastic work”.

Speaking during a visit to Fingal, where he witnessed first-hand the activity taking place under various pillars of the Rebuilding Ireland programme, Minister Murphy praised Fingal County Council for its delivery of housing across the region.

Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure AnnMarie Farrelly, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, and Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid visit the construction of the new railway bridge at the Ballymastone lands in Donabate.

“Fingal alone is going to deliver more than 640 new homes into social housing stock this year, in addition to all the other things they are going to do. And we as a Government are going to oversee delivery of 8,000 homes into the social housing stock this year which is incredibly significant.”

He paid tribute to Chief Executive Paul Reid and Director of Housing Margaret Geraghty and other council officials, who he said were doing “fantastic work” to deliver more housing.

“This doesn’t happen if they aren’t taking leadership in their own local authority, working with the councillors, working with Government and elected representatives.”

Minister Murphy added: “When we are talking about building new homes, we have to ensure they are first class homes, no matter who we are building them for. A person’s home is their castle and we have to take that approach when we are talking about building private homes, affordable homes and social homes and that is something we are committed to doing in Government.”

Minister Murphy visited Donabate today where he saw major progress on the construction of €14.5m Distributor Road, which was the first project in the country backed by the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) to get underway.

The 4km road, which is due for completion in mid-2019, runs through the middle of the Ballymastone lands, which are expected to deliver between 1,000 and 1,200 residential units. The site has an indicated tenure mix of 60% private, 20% private discounted and 20% social housing. Procurement for the site is underway.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, and Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid at Seatown in Swords where 18 homes are being renovated before their allocation to people in need of social housing support

The new road, which includes the construction of a new bridge over the Dublin-Belfast railway line, will provide alternative access to Donabate and Portrane and will alleviate traffic congestion in the area. The road will also provide improved access to the new National Forensic Mental Health Hospital. Completion of the first phase of the Donabate Road will result in the provision of a single carriageway road between Hearse Road and the Portrane Road, with the provision of a second carriageway to coincide with the completion of the proposed phases of development.

During his visit, Minister Murphy first received a briefing at County Hall in Swords from Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid, Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure AnnMarie Farrelly, Director of Housing Margaret Geraghty, and County Architect Fionnuala May.

He then visited Seatown in Swords, where Fingal County Council recently purchased 18 houses which are currently undergoing extensive renovations before their allocation to people in need of social housing support.

Minister Murphy then travelled to the St Vincent de Paul-managed St Benedicts’s Housing for the Elderly in Seabury, Malahide, where he officially opened a €1.45m eight-unit, single-storey sheltered housing extension. Managed by St Vincent de Paul, the award-winning complex now contains 45 units.

From there, Minister Murphy visited the LIHAF-funded Donabate Distributor Road, before heading to Balbriggan where he was given a tour of the council-built, rapid delivery scheme in Pinewood.

Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid said: ‘We were delighted to welcome Minister Eoghan Murphy to Fingal today to outline the progress the local authority is making in terms of housing delivery across the various pillars of the Rebuilding Ireland programme.

‘Since the Minister launched the construction of the Donabate Distributor Road last year, the first LIHAF scheme to get underway in the country, we are really pleased with the progress that has been made. The LIHAF scheme is vital in relieving critical infrastructural blockages in order to accelerate the delivery of housing at key sites.

‘Fingal County Council has received funding for two more LIHAF projects, one in Baldoyle and a second in the Oldtown-Mooretown area of Swords, which will facilitate the construction of a further 1,600 homes. We are looking forward to moving these plans forward in the near future.”

Speaking at St Benedict’s Housing for the Elderly complex, Mayor of Fingal Cllr Anthony Lavin said: “I am delighted that Minister Murphy has been able to join us today to see this excellent facility for himself. The St Vincent De Paul Society has formed an excellent partnership with the Council over the years and we look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”

He added: “I am also pleased that Minister Murphy also took the opportunity to visit some other sites within Fingal where the Council is actively implementing the various pillars of the Rebuilding Ireland programme.”

By the end of September, Fingal County Council had provided 1,181 of the 1,637 social housing homes it had been asked to deliver under the Rebuilding Ireland programme. Between 2015 and 2017, the Council provided 2,241 social housing homes having been set a delivery output target of 1,376 for the three-year period.

There are 72 active construction sites within Fingal which will deliver 12,213 housing units while planning permission has been granted for a further 55 projects with 5,500 homes being delivered.

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