Cork City Council and housing agency Cluid have bought a 78-unit apartment complex for social housing and for rent to the private sector, in a deal believed to be worth around €20 million.

Leeside Apartments is a complex at Bachelor's Quay in Cork.

Many of those units are vacant, but around 29 tenants have been fighting eviction, after the complex was acquired by an Irish investment company in October 2017.

It said it needed to carry out substantial refurbishment of the complex.

The proposed evictions were the subject of protests and marches on the streets of Cork.

The deal removes the threat of eviction from existing tenants, while approximately 50 vacant units will be made available for social housing.

News of the acquisition of the Leeside Apartments complex comes as it was revealed that the number of adults in emergency accommodation in the city exceeded 400 for the first time in February, a 30% increase in just 12 months.

Clúid said it was delighted to have secured the complex in partnership with Cork City Council in just five months.

Business Development Manager James O'Halloran said the €20m deal was great value for money as it would cost closer to €28m to provide similar inner-city accommodation.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr O'Halloran said that Clúid first engaged with the owner of the property in October and worked with Cork City Council to secure funding and complete surveys. 

He said HAP tenants and six private tenants are living in the building and will remain.

Mr O'Halloran said the council will now interview people in emergency accommodation or on waiting lists for social housing and homes will be allocated in the coming weeks.