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Council paying developers up to €96,000 more for social housing than it would cost to build themselves

Council paying developers up to €96,000 more for social housing than it would cost to build themselves
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Louth County Council is paying private developers up to €96,000 more for social housing units than it would cost for the local authority to build them themselves.

That’s according to new figures from the Department of Housing.

The figures provided by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin show how much local councils paid last year for so-called turnkey purchases, which are bought directly from private developers for social housing tenants.

In several areas, the average cost of these acquisitions was nearly double the cost of the social housing units developed directly by the council. The figures do not contain detail about the size or spec of the units.

In Louth, the average cost of turnkey acquisitions in 2019 was €273,00 compared with €176,700 for the new builds delivered directly by the council under the Social Housing Capital Investment Programme (SHIP).

Fingal County Council was the worst for overspending with the average turnkey costs there coming in at €412,000 last year compared to €209,300 under SHIP.

Louth ranked seventh nationally for the most spent on turnkey homes, just after Fingal County, Dublin City, Galway City, South Dublin County, Cork City and Kildare County Councils.

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