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Dublin City Council overpaid contractors by 40%+ on social homes

Dublin City Council overpaid construction contractors by over 40% to build social homes when compared to private developers, a newly-released report has claimed.

The report was commissioned in late 2020 by senior officials within Dublin City Council (DCC), and involved an audit into the cost of social housing projects.

Ultimately, the report found that since 2019, the council paid around €335,000 per one-bedroom apartment. This is in stark contrast to the estimated cost of the same unit for a private developer, which is around €250,000 for similar specs.

This means the social housing unit costs around €85,000 more for the same product compared to the private sector.

Similarly, for a two-bed social home, Dublin City Council ended up paying €514,000. Meanwhile, the estimated cost for private developers was €358,000 – making the council’s purchase €156,000 more expensive.

All-in-all, the report found that the council paid contractors 34% more for a one-bed apartment, and 44% more for a two bedroom apartment and most private firms would have.

“The cost system examined did not have the detail or provide the means and the capacity to monitor where costs changed,” the report read.

“The capacity for staff and management therefore, to make substantive decisions around cost control, was severely restricted, particularly when there were changes in regulatory specifications and requirements at a national level that had an impact on costs.”

According to the, Fine Gael Dublin city councillor James Geoghegan said that the council had not been “managing costs of their projects to a standard that would be expected of a local authority,” adding “They don’t have the proper cost management processes in place so contractors are building homes and costs are escalating.”


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