Social housing projects restarting in Ireland
Dublin City relinquishes parking space to pedestrians to facilitate social distancing
- April 21, 2020 16:00
Work is resuming at dozens of social housing construction sites across Ireland, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government announced yesterday in a statement to public broadcaster RTÉ. This is to ensure local authorities can provide permanent shelter for people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic who are currently in emergency accommodation or at risk of homelessness.
The Ministry said teams in 35 social housing schemes across 14 counties would be allowed to work to provide critical accommodation for those needing to self-isolate or cocoon as well as to enhance social distancing. The counties with housing projects in restart mode are Carlow, Cork City, Cork County, Dublin City Council, Fingal, South Dublin County Council, Kildare, Kilkenny, Louth, Meath, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and Wicklow.
A number of these projects are near completion or need minor embellishments. As the Ministry points out, relevant local authorities will have to apply for a designation that a specific project falls within the meaning of “essential activity”. Also, they must assure themselves that the homes can be completed quickly and that all the necessary coronavirus public health requirements can be met on-site.
Responding to the announcement, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warned members that if they do not comply rigorously with health and safety regulations, sites will be closed down again, probably for the duration of the pandemic. This will have a disastrous effect on the sector and the wider economy, says CIF in a letter to developers.
In the letter, a series of steps are outlined regarding transportation of workers, on-site and off-site physical distancing and hygienic guidelines observance. Digital cards will be issued only to workers successfully acquainted with the new procedures, stresses CIF.
Dublin prevents pedestrian overspills onto roads
Meanwhile, Dublin City Council has decided to relinquish some parking space to the use of pedestrians to ensure social distancing. The move follows complaints from city councillors that social distancing is proving impossible, as people standing in queues outside shops are forced onto the road by joggers and passersby.
Loading bays and other access points to stores are being sealed off with plastic bollards known as “orcas" and delivery drivers are being asked to park further away from shops.
The Council is contemplating relocation of bus stops where possible to allow more road space to be used by pedestrians.
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