Tenants saved from mass eviction after €19m purchase of apartment block

Tenants saved from mass eviction after €19m purchase of apartment block


Tenant Aimee O'Riordan (26) was one of many tenants issued with a notice to quit in 2017
Tenant Aimee O’Riordan (26) was one of many tenants issued with a notice to quit in 2017

A MAJOR apartment complex in Cork has been purchased by Cork City Council and a housing association to tackle the city’s spiraling social housing crisis.

The purchase, which is understood to be worth more than €19m, will see the 78 unit Leeside Apartments in Cork city centre used by both Cork City Council and Cluid Housing Association tenants.

Over the past two years the complex has been at the centre of a protest over attempts to evict 29 long-term tenants at the complex.

The investment firm involved had insisted the evictions were required so that vacant possession would allow major upgrades at the apartment complex including vital fire safety work.

However, 29 tenants had been engaged in a long-running battle to avoid eviction.

Many claimed that, once they left the apartments, they would be unable to return because of significantly increased rents.

Now, Cork City Council confirmed the acquisition of the large apartment complex under the Rebuilding Ireland programme.

Almost 50 units at the complex will be available for almost immediate occupation.

The majority of the units will be used to tackle the social housing waiting list – but a number will be for the private sector.

“The riverside scheme, which has been acquired by Cluid, comprises 72 homes that are available to applicants eligible for social housing supports. The scheme has been developed to an extremely high standard and contains a range of housing unit types and sizes,” a council spokesperson confirmed.

An additional six housing units have been purchased by Cluid Housing Association and will be rented to the private sector.

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Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mick Finn, said it was a major attempt to address Cork’s social housing problem.

“These homes and the hundreds of others either under construction, purchased or leased are a tangible example of what the City Council and approved housing bodies can do when funding becomes available,” he said.

“I am sure it’s a relief for existing tenants also. We need more of this and more reconfiguring of commercial buildings in the absence of large estate builds.”

Ireland’s homeless figures have dramatically increased over recent months.

In Cork, the number of adults in emergency accommodation soared above 400 for the first time.

That represented an alarming 30pc hike in the space of just one year.

Property experts said the deal was a win-win for everyone involved.

City Council officials insisted that it represented value for money and would be a huge boost to tackling social housing issues in Cork.

Director of Housing Services, Brian Geaney, said it represented a pioneering role for the authority.

“This project is another example of the council taking a pioneering role in relation to the delivery of social housing and its willingness to take a multi-faceted approach to finding solutions to housing challenges in the city,” he said.

City council officials said they were delighted with the involvement of Cluid in the project.

Mr Geaney paid tribute to Cluid Housing Association ” for its professionalism, agility and commitment which were all necessary for the efficient delivery of a residential scheme of this scale in a city centre location.”

While James O’Halloran, New Business Manager at Clúid, said that the purchase represents a major milestone for the association.

“These units are finished to the highest standard and will provide people in Cork City with long-term, secure homes.

“Clúid has worked with Cork City Council to deliver these units in a matter of months and we hope to begin the process of filling the units next week.

“This project shows what can been achieved when stakeholders who are committed to housing delivery work together.

“This purchase will help us in our aim of delivering 2,500 homes over three years.”

Online Editors


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