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500 modular units for homeless families across Dublin announced

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
An example of one of the modular homes
An example of one of the modular homes

The government has announced plans for 500 modular units for homeless families across the Dublin region.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said the aim is to have an initial 22 units in place by December with a further 128 units to follow through a fast-tracked procurement. 350 units will then be provided through a national procurement framework overseen by the office for Government procurement. 

The Ministers will be using their powers under the Planning & Development Acts to support the use of the fastest planning process in order for the modular units to be in place as quickly as possible and ease pressure for families currently residing in hotels and other emergency accommodation.
 
Dublin City Council is being funded to acquire the units at a cost of around €40 million. 
 
Minister Kelly said: "The housing market in Dublin was ruined during the recession and this sector is not recovering quickly enough to keep up with demand. Therefore, as a temporary measure while supply is coming on stream, I will be funding the delivery of 500 modular units for families in Dublin experiencing homelessness. 
 
"Modular units can offer a much better quality of life than a hotel while families are waiting to be housed in more permanent settings. The families that avail of these will continue to have the full set of supports available from homelessness services.
 
 
"They will not be considered to be housed by the local authority, they will remain ‘homeless’ for statistical purposes but they will be in a better environment where their family life will be minimally disrupted. The homes will be built to all necessary building standards with the sites being selected on the basis of access to community infrastructure and services. 
 
Paudie Coffey TD, Minister with Special Responsibility for Housing, Planning and Coordination of the Construction 2020 Strategy said: "These modular units will assist those with the most acute housing need in the Dublin Area. I now expect these units be delivered as soon as possible."
 
"This programme of modular housing provision is being implemented to mitigate the issues associated with an increasing volume of homeless families accommodated in inappropriate commercial hotel arrangements."
 
Data from September indicated that there were 738 homeless families nationally, the majority of which, 637 families, were in the Dublin Region; on a single night 401 families were accommodated on an emergency basis in commercial hotels in the Dublin Region.
 
"Modular housing accommodation will offer a greater level of stability for families while move-on options to long-term independent living are identified and secured," Minister Coffey said. 
 
"Furthermore, such arrangements will facilitate more coordinated needs assessment and support planning for access to all required services, including welfare, health and housing services."