Updated: 14th January
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD officially opened four new social housing schemes and two new social housing developments in Donegal on Friday.
The developments represent an overall investment of almost €23m in Social Housing provision in Donegal under the Rebuilding Ireland Programme.
The Minister turned the sod at sites in Donegal Town and Long Lane Letterkenny, while new social housing schemes were opened in Stranorlar, Newtowncunningham, Manorcunningham, and Crievesmith Letterkenny.
Speaking at the official opening the Minister said “I am delighted to be here in Donegal to see first hand the fine work the Council are doing in the delivery of new social homes through their own construction programme and in partnership with both private developers through turnkey scheme and with Approved Housing Bodies.
“I will be turning the sod on two construction schemes and will also be officially opening a further four social housing schemes at various locations across the county. In all there are 115 new homes being delivered which will provide high quality homes to cater for the different housing demands arising in Donegal, they will be, without doubt, a very welcome addition to the social housing stock in Donegal.
“These schemes show what Donegal County Council, and local authorities are capable of doing in delivering high quality housing through the funding support available under Rebuilding Ireland.”
Minister Murphy started his visit in Donegal Town in the morning where he turned the sod on a new development that will see 34 new social housing units constructed representing an investment of €5.3 million. This development will incorporate 24 social housing units and two group homes and is being delivered in conjunction with Oaklee Housing Association and the HSE.
In Stranorlar the Minister officially opened the new Gleann na Greine housing estate at Mullindrait, Stranorlar which Donegal County Council acquired recently from Longmarsh Developments Ltd. The development includes 18 three bedroom and 3 four bedroom houses and provides homes to 82 individuals.
The new estates at Castlepark in Newtowncunningham and An Ceapach in Manorcunningham were also officially opened and Minister Murphy had the privilege of handing the Boyle family keys to their new home at An Ceapach in Manorcunningham which is located on a beautiful site with stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
The new development at Castlepark consists of 4 two bed and 3 three bed units while the new development at An Ceapach consists of 4 two bed and 4 three bed units.
The Minister also officially opened phase 1 of the new Leitir Beag estate at Crievesmith Letterkenny which the Council acquired from George Doherty Construction (Irl Ltd) consisting of 16 units with a further 18 units due for completion in 2019.
The day concluded with the turning of the sod at Council owned lands a new site at Long Lane in Letterkenny which will see the construction of a social housing development of 29 units, consisting of 12 two bed, 15 three bed and 2 four bed units at a cost of just over €6 million. The tendering process is now in the final stages and the appointment of a contractor, to undertake the works, is imminent.
This is just the beginning
“This is just the beginning of Donegal County Council’s ambitious Social Housing Programme” explains Joe Peoples Director of Housing, Corporate and Cultural Services with Donegal County Council.
“The Council’s Housing Construction Programme is projected to deliver 298 social housing units over the next two to three years representing an investment in excess of €50 million.
The following projects will be on site in 2019 on Council landbanks at Killybegs, Long Lane Letterkenny, Donegal Town, St. Johnston, Raphoe, Malin and Buncrana. Additional projects are also being planned for Donegal Town, Bundoran, Buncrana, Dunfanaghy and Letterkenny. The Council is continuing to work to source suitable landbanks throughout the County to develop new projects in addition to those currently planned.”
The Councils Turnkey Acquisition programme is anticipated to deliver 300 to 400 social housing units in towns and villages across Donegal over the next few years.
Alongside the Housing Construction Programme the Council has purchased 208 properties under the Single House Acquisition Programme since 2015 representing an investment of over €25 million with more acquisitions expected in the coming year.
Speaking on the day Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill acknowledged the work being done by Donegal County Council’s Housing Directorate as part of the Councils Social Housing Programme.
“This is an extensive programme of work and I am delighted to be here today to see the first housing schemes under this programme being officially opened. Under this programme Donegal County Council is planning to build 298 social housing units representing an investment in excess of €50 million. In addition to this the Council is pursuing an ambitious Turnkey Acquisition programme which has the potential to deliver a substantial number of high quality homes in towns across the county over the next few years. The Council has adopted a multi-faceted approach to addressing the social housing demand in the county.”
High standard housing
Chief Executive of Donegal County Council Seamus Neely says that the Council is committed to providing high quality housing solutions for the people of Donegal and the housing schemes being officially opened today are a great example of the excellent standard of housing being made available for families and individuals across the county.
Mr Neely said: “We have been ambitious in our approach to addressing the housing challenges that many families and individuals have been facing in Donegal. At the heart of these homes are the tenants that occupy them and all our houses have been designed with this in mind.
“All units are highly energy efficient, with low running costs, meeting the specific needs and requirements of tenants where necessary and are delivered to high specifications and standards in line with the building regulations.
“We are committed to meeting the targets and objectives set out in Rebuilding Ireland and continue to work closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as the main funder of our social housing programme.”
Clive Wasson was on site to capture some of the best moments. Check out his photography below.Tags: