Cllr Hazel De Nortuin

At tonight’s meeting of Dublin City Council in City Hall, the People Before Profit group of councillors’ emergency motion calling on Dublin City Council management to carry out a review of the Rapid Build project in Ballymun as a matter of urgency was passed. The motion calls for a full report including full costings, time line of key events, report on rationale for moving from modular to rapid build technology including correspondence from the Department of the Environment in relation to the tendering process to be circulated to Councillors before June’s Council meeting.

People Before Profit councillors felt it necessary to table the emergency motion as there has been a complete lack of willingness on behalf of the management of Dublin City Council to keep the elected representatives up-to-date on the evolving Rapid Build project and the ever-escalating costs of the project.

Cllr. Tina MacVeigh, a member of the Dublin City Council Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), said: ‘The lack of transparency and information on the whole process is ridiculous. At last week’s Housing SPC we asked for the final costs of the Ballymun project and were told that the council won’t have them for a further two weeks. This is a matter of grave concern as the public expect us as councillors to ensure that money is spent in the most efficient and transparent way. This is certainly not the case with the Rapid Build project to date. In fact, from the outset we have voiced our concerns with this project as a viable response to the housing and homelessness crisis’.

People Before Profit Cllr. John Lyons added: ‘At a recent site visit in Poppintree in Ballymun, we were informed by senior Dublin City Council management that each Rapid Build unit would cost in the region of €200,000. Now we hear through the media that they could cost as much as a whopping €243,000, more than traditional bricks and mortar housing. With this money, Dublin City Council could have turned around empty units more quickly and could have purchased many homes on the market, which would have facilitated moving more people out of emergency accommodation more quickly. This would be an actual rapid response to the homelessness crisis and families could have been spared another year in emergency accommodation’.

Cllr Hazel de Nortuin concluded: ‘We have been asking questions regarding the modular unit-Rapid Build project for several months now and at every hand’s turn, management have proven to be unwilling to engage with us and in turn the public. To date we still do not know the full cost of the 22 Rapid Build homes in Ballymun. Our motion this evening will hopefully bring some transparency to whole process: we want full costings, time line of key events, a report on rationale for moving from modular to rapid build technology including all correspondence from Department of the Environment in relation to the tendering process and we want this to be circulated to Councillors before June’s Council meeting. Anything less is just not good enough and won’t be tolerated.’

Text of Emergency Motion passed at Dublin City Council meeting 9 May 2016:

That a review of the Ballymun Rapid Build project be undertaken as a matter of urgency and that a full report be circulated to Councillors before the next Council meeting to include full costings, time line of key events, report on rationale for moving from modular to rapid build technology including correspondence from DoE in relation to tender process.