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30 modular homes for Ukrainian refugees to be built in Cavan at cost of €8.4 million 

The building of 30 modular homes in Drumnavanagh on the Farnham Road in Cavan to house Ukrainian refugees is to cost the state €8.4 million. 

The revelation of the cost of development comes as a confidential Land Development Agency (LDA) report revealed that the Irish state is paying up to €138,000 more to build an affordable home here compared to other European countries building similar affordable housing. 

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, and Integration last week confirmed to Northern Sound News that the 30 two-bed units on the site in Cavan town will cost “in the region of €8.4 million euros”. 

The costs of the site which includes construction, delivery and installation, as well as the site enabling works, was confirmed to Northern Sound News. A department spokesperson later confirmed that this means the average cost of each unit comes in at around €280,000 euros.

Families from Ukraine are due to move into the purpose built modular homes in March of this year, with 120 Ukrainian refugees expected to be housed in the estate. The development will see the installation of 30 single storey semi-detached homes with two bedrooms at 45 metres squared.

There will also be pavements, public lighting, 32 on-street car parking spaces, a bin store, landscaping, potable water connections, bicycle stores, ESB substation, and all ancillary site development works, Northern Sound News reported.

While the modular units are currently being built off site, they are expected to arrive at the Cavan town location by the end of February for a move in date in March.

Sites have also been identified in Cork, Sligo, Tipperary and Claremorris as the Department rolls out the first phases of the programme of rapid build homes in Cavan.

Modular housing can be permanent or temporary, and is often seen as a good solution for temporary accommodation needs. Built from manufactured sections, known as modules, they are manufactured off-site and transported to their development, where they are combined to form a finished property. While they are often seen as cost-effective, time-saving, and cheaper to construct, the cost of building each home in Drumnavanagh – €280,000 – exceeds the cost of an average three-bed home in Cavan.

An average three-bed semi-detached home in County Cavan costs €145,000, up 14% on the December 2020 average of €127,500, the most recent REA Average House Price Index shows.

Online, the cost of building the modular homes has raised eyebrows from some, with the ongoing project even described by some Twitter users as a “scandalous” waste of money.

“How is it costing €95,000 over the average price of a three bedroom house in Cavan to build 2 bedroom modular homes?” one user called Paul James tweeted, with others asking how the contract was signed off on.

“Someone somewhere is getting very rich,” one user said.

Meanwhile, the Business Post highlighted high construction costs in Ireland, after the Sunday newspaper highlighted how the state is paying up to €138,000 more to build an affordable home than European neighbours, according to a confidential report. Others queried who owns the company or companies supplying the modular homes. 

The confidential document from the Land Development Agency, completed in April 2021, was published in the Business Post on Sunday. It compared the cost of building social housing in Naas with similar housing projects completed in Germany and France, finding that costs were much more in Ireland. The content of the “private and confidential” 40 page research document was not shared with the Department of Housing.

You can read the Business Post article in full here.

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