Developer will not get ‘one more penny’ for higher price on Oscar Traynor homes

New prices for affordable housing scheme in Coolock relate to increased market values, says council

The Coolock homes were in recent weeks advertised at prices of up to €475,000 for a three-bed semi-detached house, about €100,000 more than expected when councillors signed off on the deal with developer Glenveagh in 2021

The developer of Dublin City Council’s “flagship” affordable housing scheme at Oscar Traynor Road will not get “one more penny” from the increased price of the homes, council officials have confirmed.

The Coolock homes were in recent weeks advertised at prices of up to €475,000 for a three-bed semidetached house, about €100,000 more than expected when councillors signed off on the deal with developer Glenveagh in 2021.

The council’s director of housing delivery Dave Dinnigan told councillors on Monday night the new prices related to increased market values, and Glenveagh was not getting any additional money.

The high market value of the houses means purchasers can now have incomes exceeding €106,000 and still qualify as eligible for affordable housing subsidies.

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Following protracted negotiations and the collapse of agreements over several years, Dublin city councillors signed off on a deal for the redevelopment of 17 hectares of public land near the entrance to the Dublin Port Tunnel in November 2021.

Under the deal, Glenveagh would build 853 homes on the site – 40 per cent for social housing, 40 per cent for cost rental and 20 per cent designed to be sold to low- and middle-income workers qualifying for the affordable purchase scheme.

Pricing of ‘affordable homes’ at €475,000 defended by councilOpens in new window ]

The 'affordable' homes costing twelve times the average wage

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When councillors agreed to the deal one-bedroom homes were to be priced at €204,000-€238,000, two beds from €227,000-€284,000, and three beds at €250,000-€306,000.

Prices advertised in recent weeks considerably higher than indicated in 2021, with one beds costing €264,358-€308,750, two beds €355,760-€427,500 and three beds €399,731-€475,000.

The council said the 2021 prices had not included VAT, and the 2024 advertised prices did not reflect the funding of up to €30,000 that was available under the State’s Help to Buy Scheme.

At a special meeting on Monday evening councillors asked whether Glenveagh was getting more money from the council than had been agreed in 2021.

“The contract price stays the same between us and Glenveagh. The market value rising does not create one more penny for Glenveagh,” Mr Dinnigan said.

The affordable purchase scheme had been designed to offer certain discounts on market values at the time the house were offered for sale.

“There is no scheme that comes out of the Department [of Housing] that addresses every ill of society, and every category of person, but it is fulfilling a specific role here,” he said.

“The scheme is constructed as a discount on market value. If market value kept increasing over the next couple of years, then that would be an issue, but that is something the department will listen to us on.”

Mr Dinnigan noted the affordable purchase made up only 20 per cent of the Oscar Traynor Woods development and more than 680 homes would be built for social housing and cost rental tenants.

Councillors agreed a motion to write to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to seek an urgent meeting to discuss the affordable housing policy.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times