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Huge concern as builder pulls out of five regeneration projects in Dublin – Ó Snodaigh

19 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government to step into the gap created by McNamara builders when they announced that they will not proceed with five planned regeneration projects in Dublin.

Dublin City Council today announced that the regeneration of St. Michael's Estate, O'Devaney Gardens, Dominic Street, Seán McDermott Street and Infirmary Road will not go ahead as planned as the builders, the private side of the public private partnerships that were to regenerate these areas, have pulled out of the contract.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin had warned that developing social housing on the basis of Public Private Partnerships was not the way to go as the private developers on which so much was dependant would not be around as soon as the housing market dipped. This has proven to be the case now as developers pull out of five major regeneration projects in Dublin.

"The effect of this is that hundreds of much needed social housing units will not be built in the near future unless the Government steps into the builders shoes. If they do not hundreds of families will be left waiting in unsuitable accommodation for the completion of their homes at some unknown time. The regeneration of these areas, which didn't benefit from the years of the Celtic Tiger, was heralded by government as proof that they were addressing these socially disadvantaged areas.

"The Government must step into the gap created by the builders and ensure that these houses are built on time and that the regeneration of these areas of severe disadvantage occurs. Furthermore, a change in Government policy is required to ban the use of Public Private Partnerships for such basic requirements as public housing projects."

Also speaking today Dublin City Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh who is a member of the St. Michael's regeneration board said, "Just as the Celtic Tiger failed to benefit the less well off in our society it is those same people who feel the first effects of current economic downturn.

"The Celtic Tiger Economy is well and truly over and the first victims are the less well off in society from working class areas in Dublin who are now facing an uncertain future. In my own constituency of South West Inner City the people of St. Michael's Gardens do not now know if the houses they are waiting on will ever be built. As the biggest of the Regeneration projects to be knocked back today, it is vital that the investment of time and effort by the community in preparation for the regeneration doesn't go to waste. They can't be left with derelict sites, they have suffered the consequences of disadvantage for too long and deserve to have a guarantee that what they worked for will be delivered.

"There is also huge concern about the future now of other planned regeneration projects in my area and in the city, which are to be built on the same Public Private Partnership basis with other builders." ENDS

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