Dublin City Council must introduce an ‘affordability guarantee’ which ensures that Part V social housing purchases will be affordable, according to the Workers’ Party. The call comes in the wake of revelations that developer Johnny Ronan is set to sell units from a new docklands development to the City Council for close to €1 million.  

Workers’ Party representative Éilis Ryan said: 
“Ronan knows full well that local authorities will be unwilling to spend €1 million on an individual housing unit. In this way, by pricing Part V social housing units at such exorbitant rates, Johnny Ronan and his like are effectively blackmailing Dublin City Council into abandoning its commitments to integrate social housing within all private developments. 

“The council will, Ronan hopes, be inclined to negotiate “off site” social housing, segregated from the main development, at a lower price. It is totally unacceptable that a private developer would have such leverage over a local authority.” 

Ryan continued: “I raised this issue in relation to the docklands development some years back on the city council. I pointed out that, when planning permission is sought by developers like Ronan for ultra-luxurious penthouse-style apartments, not only would the private units be totally unaffordable for most people, but the Part V social housing units to be delivered within each development would also be extortionately priced.  

“I argued that the city council should seek to agree the purchase price of social housing units in each private development before granting planning permission to any development.”   

Ryan concluded: “I am calling for the city council to introduce an affordability guarantee for all Part V social housing, by ensuring a developer agrees the sale price of Part V units before planning permission is granted. 

“This must be done in conjunction with developers’ obligations to deliver social housing integrated within private developments (not separate), and their obligation to deliver social housing which is identical to the private housing within a single development.”