Wed, May 6, 2020
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There have been some queries from residents about the redevelopment of a property at 15-17 Drumcondra Road Lower. Cllr Janet Horner has received a response from Dublin City Council about plans for the building.
The following is the response from Dublin City Council in relation to the property:
“We have entered into a contract with the owner of 15-17 Lower Drumcondra Road to use the property as emergency accommodation for homeless single persons. A maximum of 42 individuals will be accommodated here. A change of use Planning Application is not required because the property was previously used for residential purposes. As part of the contract agreement the owner will continue to manage the property under the supervision of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).
We are satisfied that the property is in compliance with Building Standards and Fire Regulations.
The city badly needs further emergency accommodation for Homeless persons, last night there was not a single empty bed in the Hostel system throughout the city.”
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive provided this update
The DRHE have been engaging with the owner of the above property since early March 2020 to deliver additional capacity for homeless single persons as part of the COVID-19 response. The DRHE has negotiated a contract for services for a period of 5 years under a commercial arrangement between the DRHE and the property owners.
The property is being managed directly by the owners of the property Brimwood Ltd under the commercial arrangement with the DRHE whereby the property is made available to accommodate single adults requiring accommodation who are experiencing homelessness until alternative longer term housing solutions via social housing or HAP are available for them. THE avaerage stay at this accommodation is envisaged to be between 3 and 6months. The property is not a hostel and there is no NGO involved in the management of it.
This property has previously provided residential accommodation for a wide range of adults, (singles/couples) working and or studying in the area and it’s use to accommodate homeless persons is not a change of use and the works which involved repair and renewal did not necessitate a planning application.
The use of this residential accommodation allows the DRHE continue to respond to the need for provision of accommodation to enable social distancing, and isolation thereby reducing the public health risk to homeless adults at this time. Placement of single homeless adults to the accommodation commenced on May 1st.
In relation to queries as to a curfew at the property, residents will reside at 15-17 on a full time basis and the DRHE issues a general guidelines of 11.30pm to operators and residents in private emergency accommodation with exceptions where individuals are possibly working late or visiting family and friends.
The Gardai attended the site on a number occasions following concerns raised in relation to social distancing while the renewal and repair works were underway and it was found to be adhering to social distancing guidelines at all times.
The owner’s design team, taking into account Environmental Health guidelines on private rented accommodation, together with the recently issued social distancing guidelines, advised the DRHE this residential accommodation could accommodate approximately 38-40 adults. With the application of these two sets of guidelines, the number of adults in the properties has decreased from 62 to 40 adults which is a reduction in the use/intensification of approximately a third. It was neither the DRHE’s intention or the owners to ever accommodate 120 single adults in these properties.
The DRHE has overseen the installation of 40 beds at the property and ensured that the facility was ready to accommodate individual adults requiring emergency accommodation.
The property is owned by Brimwood Ltd and will continue to be operated by them on behalf of DCC/ DRHE in the provision of suitable residential accommodation for single homeless adults. Staff are on site 24-7.
The District Fire Officer was on site on the 30th April 2020 and the maintenance works to the fire and life safety systems meet the current fire safety standards.
There are a number of other queries in relation to this property that Cllr. Horner is following up on.