Speaking ahead of a meeting next Monday to further debate the matter, Cllr. Ted Tynan (Workers’ Party) said:
“This site has the potential to hold 100 homes. In the middle of a housing crisis, the city council should be making urgent applications to the Department of Housing for funding to build public housing on the site, to alleviate the crisis.
“Instead, the city management has recommended that we sell the land to a private buyer for a paltry sum of half a million euro – which would barely buy a single home on Model Farm Road. This represents astounding bad value for the council – and those facing housing crisis.”
“When the motion to dispose of the site first came to us at a committee meeting last week, I proposed that, instead of agreeing to the sale at next week’s city council meeting, we should recommend that the full council reject the sale. I secured support from other councillors for this, and am now calling on all councillors to support the public ownership of this land, and the housing that can be developed on it.”
Cork city management justified the proposal to sell as being necessary to repay outstanding loans.
“Make no mistake – if this land is sold, the housing built on it will be totally out of the reach of all but the wealthiest buyers. Much of it will be bought up by landlords intent on charging extortionate rent to tenants. It is noteworthy that it is always the land in “high value” neighbourhoods that developers want to get their hands on.
“If the city management is really keen on improving the council’s financial situation, instead of selling off the family silver, it will build public housing affordable and accessible to all, which will save the city huge amounts in the longer term.”