THE chief of the regeneration housing scheme Brendan Kenny has admitted he was hoping for a bigger announcement on the future of the project.
And as he hints his five year tenure will come to a close, he criticised residents’ groups who have said he could have done more in the community, saying: “I don’t need to justify that to anybody”.
On Friday, in her first major announcement in her role as a Super Junior Minister, Jan O’Sullivan announced a series of projects designed to get the regeneration process moving at last.
She confirmed that funding would be made available for 100 housing units this year, including schemes at Vizes Court, Moyross, and in the Lord Edward Street area.
But while he welcomed the jobs boost this will bring, Mr Kenny said he had hoped for sign off on other new projects - rather than schemes already announced.
“We would have hoped we would have seen approval for some sites that we can start working on. Until we get the nod from the Department, we can’t really move on this, and it can take up to two years from the time you get approval for a project to the time a house is started, let alone allow people move in,” he explained.
Last week, the former Dublin City boss expressed concerns that the priorities of people in the regeneration estates could see their problems put to the back of the queue.
And although Ms O’Sullivan announced a new “independent” regeneration office, Mr Kenny does not think his concerns have been dealt with adequately.
“With the best will in the world, it is hard to avoid the situation the intensive focus of regeneration could be subsumed in any organisation. We have a few months to ensure this does not happen, but the concern is still there,” he said.
As for his own prospects. Mr Kenny hinted his future could lie elsewhere.
“My contract is up on June 14. I am on secondment from Dublin City Council, so everything working out the way it seems it will, I will be returning to my job there,” he said.
“But there are still four or five months left, so I just want to make sure the commitment continues as we shift from relocation to construction.”
Mr Kenny rejected criticism from some residents who have claimed he has not been active during his tenure.
“I think everybody here in the room knows the amount of time I have spent in the communities night and day, so I don’t need to justify that to anybody. My team has been working flat out for the last four or five years doing work the other agencies should have been doing,” he said.