Ministers Gormley and Finneran announce approval of first phase of St. Michael's Estate regenerationPress release June 3, 2009 Politics
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, T.D., and the Minister for Housing and Local Services, Mr. Michael Finneran, T.D., announced the approval today (3 June 2009) of the first phase of a planned three-phased regeneration of St. Michael's Estate.
Exchequer funding for the social housing component of the first phase of the project of 7.8 million is being provided under the Social Housing Investment Programme.
Following the disappointing failure in 2008 of PPP proposals for the regeneration of St. Michael's Estate, Dublin City Council undertook a comprehensive re-examination of its options for the regeneration of the area. On foot of this, the Council has proposed a three-phased regeneration of the area, which will deliver a high quality, mixed tenure, sustainable community comprising, social, affordable and private housing with supporting commercial and community facilities.
Having regard to the priority which the City Council accorded to the project in terms of its Social Housing Investment Programme, Minister Gormley said that his Department has now approved the Council's proposal for the building of 32 social units in the estate as part of the first phase which will ultimately comprise 68 social homes and 69 affordable homes and also crèche and community facilities. The second and third phases will involve the development of commercial and community uses for the site and also private residential development and a village square.
He said, "The Council's proposed phased incremental approach to the regeneration project will afford the best opportunity for momentum of the regeneration process to be maintained and built upon. Development of this first phase will renew the residential viability of the estate and leave the project best placed to attract commercial interests and private investment and development into the area."
Minister Finneran explained that despite the challenging budgetary situation the Government's commitment to social housing is undiminished. "Community is and always has been the bedrock of Irish society and its development, encouragement and protection is paramount in the sustainable communities philosophy which is at the heart of this Government's housing policy. Specific priority is assigned to the regeneration of existing local authority estates, where particular emphasis is placed on addressing the issues of social, educational and economic disadvantage experienced in some of our most challenging areas.
It is our clear objective to ensure that communities like St. Michael's Estate are afforded the opportunity to grow and develop in a safe sustainable environment."
Finally, Minister Gormley acknowledged the Council's previous endeavours to pursue PPP solutions for the regeneration of inner city areas and praised their present initiative in progressing the St, Michael's Estate regeneration project at this stage. "My Department is fully supportive of the Council's plans to follow through with acceptable viable alternatives to the previous PPP proposal. This opportunity for making progress must be embraced and built upon so that the community of St. Michael's Estate can have the sustainable housing environment they have long deserved."