Dublin City Council to axe agreement with British arms company pension fund to lease family homes for social housing

Dublin City Council will axe a provisional agreement with the pension fund of a British arms manufacturer to lease several family homes for social housing it recently purchased in the capital.

t a meeting of the City Council tonight all councillors present instructed that any potential agreement with the British Arms dealer BAE systems for long-term leasing on housing was to be halted.

According to housing sources at the meeting no contract had been fully agreed or signed.

Former Lord Mayor and north inner city Independent councillor Christy Burke said he “wholeheartedly welcomed the move” and he added that the “manager will meet with the city council’s law agent in the morning to rule out any contract.”

BAE Systems, the pension fund’s parent company, manufactures a broad range of military equipment such as combat aircraft and vehicles, ammunition, precision munitions, artillery systems and missile launchers.

Last year it emerged the parent company sold €17.8bn in arms and services to Saudi Arabia’s military over a five-year period of war in Yemen.

Cllr Burke said “arms are supplied to poor countries and that the weapons sold kill innocent people. Dublin City Council could never engage with arms dealers for housing or any other services.”

The planned leased housing was to include a mix of newly-built apartments and houses, as well as refurbished homes in Kimmage and Crumlin purchased by the pension fund.

The deal has been under consideration by council lawyers and it had been envisaged they would have been occupied early next year.

In a statement, BAE pension fund last week said: “Like most pension funds, property is part of our portfolio which, under the direction of the trustees, seeks opportunities for investment for its members.

“In Dublin, we have purchased a number of properties which have been renovated before being leased back to the council for use as social housing.”

A council spokesperson revealed it had reached a “provisional agreement” following a submission it received from the pension fund trustees several months ago but that “no binding agreements” were in place.

The spokesperson pointed out that any such arrangements follow the national schemes for leasing, both standard and enhanced leasing and that due diligence is carried out in line with the schemes.

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