Minister English receives housing briefing from Fingal County Council

The Minister for State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English, TD, met with Fingal County Council officials today (Monday) to hear at first-hand the work being done to alleviate the housing crisis.

Minister English met with Chief Executive Paul Reid, Director of Housing and Community Margaret Geraghty, Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure AnnMarie Farrelly and County Architect Fionnuala May at County Hall, Swords, where he received a detailed presentation on all aspects of Fingal County Council’s response to the Rebuilding Ireland programme.

The Minister heard that Fingal County Council has a detailed plan to provide housing in the county and will exceeded its target of 1,376 units under the 2015-2017 Social Housing Delivery Programme with 1,215 units already delivered and a further 705 approved.

He was told that Council currently has a construction programme that will deliver 582 houses, some in collaboration with Approved Housing Bodies, while there are 49 active private development sites of 10 or more units across the county.

The Minister was also briefed on how the Council has reduced the number of vacant properties in the county to 760 and given details of the current campaign to persuade owners of vacant properties to lease or sell them to the Council. He was also told how Fingal has successfully reduced the number of voids within its housing stock to no more than one per cent of stock at any time.

A briefing was also given to the Minister on last week’s fire at the Verdemont apartments in Blanchardstown and the Council’s interactions with the management company and the residents.

The Minister’s visit also included a site visit to Racecourse Common, Lusk, where the Council is currently constructing 74 houses and he was given a detailed rundown on what is planned by Co Architect Fionnuala May.

“The Minister wanted to see at first-hand what we are doing in relation to housing and to speak directly to those members of staff who are dealing with the housing crisis on a day to day basis. It was a very productive meeting for both sides and he certainly found it very informative,” said Mr Reid.

The Director of Housing and Community, Margaret Gerraghty said: “This was a great opportunity for myself and the Housing team to meet directly with the Minister and explain in detail to him what we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do as well as raise some of the issues and obstacles that we have encountered along the way.”

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