As homelessness and the housing crisis rumble on, it seems that solutions are thin on the ground. In Dublin, the city council has recently completed estate of modular houses. Despite being billed as “rapid-build”, the construction of the houses was plagued by delays and missed deadlines. Drivetime reporter John Cooke visited St Helena’s Court in Finglas to talk to people who’ve only just got the keys to their brand-new homes.
“These are not pre-fabricated homes, they’re not temporary homes. They’re permanent, triple-glazed, energy-efficient homes with a brick finish.”
The houses John visited on Monday were a mix of one and two-bedroom homes. Although Dublin City Council’s plan in 2015 was to complete their first twenty-two homes in three months, it actually took between nine and ten months before they were ready for occupation. There were also delays for another one hundred and thirty planned houses, including the ones John visited in Finglas, but they have all finally been built.
“The first meal in your new home, you don’t know what you’re going to make, or how to switch the cooker on.”
John met one woman who’d recently moved into a two-bedroom house with her infant. She was absolutely delighted, having been in emergency accommodation in a hotel, something she told John was very difficult. In the hotel, she said, you could sit on the bed or retreat to the bathroom. In her new home, she doesn’t know herself. And she didn’t think she’d get in before Christmas, but she’s there in September and she couldn’t be happier.
“I got in before X-Factor started.”
John spoke to other residents of new homes at St Helena’s Court, as well as long time residents of the area in Finglas and Dublin City Council’s Deputy Chief Executive. You can hear his full report, as well as the rest of Monday’s Drivetime here.
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