O’ Devaney Gardens proposals- an ugly deal that needs to be supported and will deliver much needed housing

Statement by Cllr. Marie Sherlock

In advance of the vote to be taken this evening by Dublin City Council, Cllr. Marie Sherlock said she will be voting to support the proposal.  

“It is an ugly deal, but it is one that needs to be supported. This deal is not the model for how I want to see housing delivered in this city. However it will deliver at least 478 units at rents that will be affordable to many individuals and families who are in desperate need of secure housing in Dublin. The community in Dublin 7 and the areas surrounding O’ Devaney Gardens have been let down for the past 15 years with failed promises of development -any further delay would be unforgivable. ” 

“It is critical to understand that this deal was born out of Government insistence on private development in the scheme. Back in 2015, the Government’s condition for funding was that it be developed privately and just 10% to be allocated to social housing.   

The current proposal on O’ Devaney Gardens is the result of huge efforts on the part of my Labour colleagues and fellow councillors to improve upon the original deal.  50% of the units will be rented out at social and either affordable or “at cost” rent with a further 30% for “affordable purchase”. 

Crucially, we are also ensuring a decent employment clause will be inserted as a condition of operation for all retail and other commercial and community services operating in the development. This will ensure all future workers employed on the O’ Deveney Gardens site will be entitled to decent pay, decent hours of work and decent working conditions covered by collectively bargained wage agreements. Furthermore, we have secured commitment for a local employment clause along with apprentices to be taken on during the construction phase. 

Sherlock concluded “The current proposals on O’ Devaney gardens represents the best deal in a bad and highly flawed system for the development of public housing in this country.  

“The stark reality is that local authorities are constrained by what central Government decides to fund. Many opponents of the O’ Devaney deal will rightly point to the cost rental proposals for St. Michael’s estate as the template to be followed. But it’s important to recall that Fine Gael’s change of heart for St Michael’s only came about in 2018, too late to change the model for  O’ Devaney Gardens as the procurement process had already commenced.”