Dublin City Council sold off public land at O Devaney Garden to a private developer in return for a promise that they would build ‘affordable’ homes.
Now it has been revealed that the cheapest price for a three bed roomed apartment will be €420,000.
The publicly subsidised “affordable” homes on the site will start from €270,000 -and that is just for a two bedroomed apartment.
In other words you will need to be earning more than €70,000 a year to get a small apartment.
The company involved in selling the homes is Bartra Capital, one of the most profit hungry developers now operating in Dublin.
But blame for this scandal must also attach to the unelected officials of Dublin City Council and the political parties that supported them.
O Devaney Gardens used to be a council estate that had nearly 300 units. It was run down over the years in a deliberate policy of neglect by the council.
It could have been regenerated and the surrounding land used for high quality public housing.
In July 2016, councillors at Dublin City Council voted to make O Devaney Garden 100% mixed income social housing.
But the unelected chief executive, Owen Keegan, then told the councillors that the call for full public ownership was illegal and so no development could go ahead. It was a straight piece of political blackmail.
Instead of challenging this, the dominant grouping on the council at the time, composed of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein, overturned the original position and voted to sell off public land.
Today, we can see the disaster that has followed. Huge profits are being made by Bartra Capital – but an estate that originally housed porter people will be out of the reach of the majority of Dubliners.
It is time to end the sell-off of public land,.