Nearly €18m has been pledged to provide social housing in Dublin's O'Devaney Gardens, which has been left undeveloped since the collapse of a private partnership deal eight years ago.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney who visited the site today with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said he regarded O'Devaney Gardens as the most important development in the country.

The money will provide 56 social housing units on part of the site by 2018.

It is part of a wider development for O'Devaney Gardens and a site nearby on Infirmary Road that will see 634 mixed tenure homes built.

It is part of the new arrangement between Dublin City Council and the private sector called the Land Initiative, which has been agreed by a majority of city councillors.

A developer will be selected to construct an agreed masterplan on public land with the council being paid back in either cash or infrastructure or subsidised housing.

The housing will be 50% private, 30% social and 20% affordable rental.

Another site in Coolock called the Oscar Traynor site will provide 640 homes, while St Michael's Estate in Inchicore will see the development of 422 houses.

A total of 1,496 homes are due to be completed under the scheme within four years.

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