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Right2Homes in talks with councils on modular housing

Group says it has resources to provide ‘turnkey solution’ to help provide homes

The not-for-profit organisation Right2Homes has said 13 local authorities have expressed an interest in its offer to provide modular housing for families on housing lists.

Right2Homes, which is backed by a number of businesspeople and lawyers, said it has the funding, project management and suppliers to provide “a turnkey, fully funded, temporary solution to local authorities to help provide homes”.

The organisation’s co-founder, Malahide businessman Brian Reilly, was previously involved in a housing association scheme which built some 28 houses for the Howth fishing community in the late 1970s. Mr Reilly was also involved in a a later, not-for-profit housing scheme at Raheny, on Dublin’s northside.

Mr Reilly said the Howth houses had been provided with a mix of credit union and county council loans with bridging finance provided by banks.

‘Political will’

He said a current offer from the Irish League of Credit Unions to create a €5 billion fund for social housing “should be taken very seriously”.

He called for the next government to “show political will” towards finding innovative solutions for the housing crisis. Right2Homes, which is also backed by the constitutional barrister David Langwallner, is taking a constitutional case against legal measures that provide for repossessions of homes by lending agencies.

Mr Langwallner said jurisdictions such as Canada and some in South America as well as India and Africa had legislation in place that restricted the ability of lending agencies to evict householders.

Last month, Right2Homes placed advertisements in national newspapers calling for expressions of interest from local authorities in the modular homes initiative. Mr Reilly said the organisation was pleased with the response from 13 local authorities and would be meeting Dublin City Council officials later this month for talks on the scheme.

Under the proposal Right2Homes would offer up to four-bedroom houses to local authorities for a five-year lease. The organisation claims it could offer the authorities lower rates than those they are paying for hotel or bed-and-breakfast accommodation for the homeless.

The council would retain ownership of the land and, at the end of the five-year period, Right2Homes would either remove the homes to realise their residual value or enter a new deal with the authority.

Mr Reilly said the offer was being made to facilitate families “in desperate need of a stable, medium-term, safe environment in which to raise their families, on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis”. He said most of the intended recipients would have been forced into the private rental accommodation sector, “and more are being housed in emergency accommodation in B&B’s and hotels”.

Discussions

Meanwhile, the Housing Agency has said it has been in discussions on acquiring housing estates at Tyrrelstown in Dublin for about four months.

The agency said it was working with approved housing body Túath and Fingal County Council to put forward a scheme whereby the housing body would acquire the houses in agreement with the developer and the owners of associated loans.

The agency said tenants on State subsidies would have to be transferred to the local authorities as social housing tenants, and a majority of the houses in estates such as Cruise Park in Tyrrelstown would have to be included in the deal.

The agency is also involved in negotiations in relation to apartment and duplex homes in Eden in Cork city but it is understood that discussions are not as far advanced as those around Tyrrelstown.

Tim O'Brien www.irishtimes.com 21-March-2016

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Enfield,
County Meath,
Ireland.

Tel:046 9541779

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