The newly-announced, so-called ‘affordable rental’ component of the O’Devaney Gardens deal – unveiled this morning by Dublin City Council’s ruling alliance – will require rents of €1600 / month. That’s according to Éilis Ryan, the former Workers’ Party councillor who proposed the original public, cost rental model for O’Devaney Gardens. 

Ryan said the deal was easy money for developer Bartra, saying: 

“Dublin City Council’s figures indicate a market value averaging close to €500,000 / unit for the O’Devaney Gardens housing. 

“To break even over thirty years, these units would have to be rented out at €1,600 – that’s over 60% of the average net household income in Dublin. Nobody in their right mind would consider that affordable, and it is totally misleading to do so. 

“In reality, to make this housing even remotely affordable, the state is going to have to stump up huge subsidies – just so Bartra can keep their profit margins up. It’s a terrible, terrible deal.” 

Ryan continued: 

“For this so-called ‘affordable rental,’ the state will be paying Bartra Capital over €110 million. This is in addition to the subsidy of over €20 million the state will have to pay for the “affordable purchase” component of the housing being built on O’Devaney Gardens. 

“So, as well as giving one of the most lucrative sites in Dublin over to Bartra, the state will now hand €130 million – plus the cost of the social housing on site – over to Bartra up front. It’s easy money for a private developer.” 

Ryan concluded: 

“What this deal shows is that it is impossible to square the circle of developer profits and affordable housing, without shovelling state money into the hands of private developers. 

“O’Devaney Gardens is one of the last opportunities in the inner city to build public housing on public land – which, if done publicly, could be truly affordable both for households and for the state. To their shame, Labour, the Green Party and the Social Democrats have joined Fianna Fáil in putting private developers ahead of the public good.”