Still over 250 va­cant units in ghost es­tates

Bray People - - NEWS - By ES­THER HAY­DEN

WICK­LOW has the high­est num­ber of va­cant units in sur- veyed un­fin­ished de­vel­op­ments ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures.

The 2017 an­nual progress re­port on ac­tions to ad­dress un­fin­ished hous­ing de­vel­op­ments which was pub­lished last week shows that while lev­els of va­cancy have re­duced sig­nif­i­cantly Wick­low is the high­est in the coun­try with 251 va­cant units last year.

The re­port shows that in 2013 there were 52 de­vel­op­ments in Wick­low sur­veyed. This re­duced to 32 in 2014, 22 in 2015, 11 in 2016 and nine in 2017. Of these nine three were found to be sub­stan­tially com­plete or fully ac­tive to be re­moved from the Un­fin­ished Hous­ing De­vel­op­ments data­base.

There was a re­duc­tion of 33 per cent be­tween 2016 and 2017 and six hous­ing es­tates re­main on the data­base.

Of the nine de­vel­op­ments sur­veyed in 2017 none were de­vel­oped by Wick­low County Coun­cil. Three un­fin­ished es­tates have a num­ber of build­ings in it which are oc­cu­pied de­spite the fact that there are build­ing shells in the es­tate.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port there are three NAMA de­vel­op­ments left in Wick­low.

Min­is­ter of State for Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Damien English said that na­tion­ally there had been a 91 per cent re­duc­tion in the num­ber of un­fin­ished de­vel­op­ments since 2010.

Min­is­ter English in­di­cated that his ob­jec­tive is to re­solve all re­main­ing un­fin­ished hous­ing de­vel­op­ments es­pe­cially those within high mar­ket de­mand lo­ca­tions and strive for 100 per cent turn­around.

He said: ‘In the last twelve months we have re­solved 165 de­vel­op­ments and in­tend to build on that suc­cess with a fur­ther push in 2018 to re­solve as many as pos­si­ble of the re­main­ing un­fin­ished de­vel­op­ments.’

The re­port said lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were con­tin­u­ing to iden­tify and ac­quire homes in ‘ghost es­tates’ – whether par­tially oc­cu­pied or empty es­tates. How­ever, in a change from pre­vi­ous years the re­port does not iden­tify the po­ten­tial num­ber of so­cial houses aris­ing from un­fin­ished es­tates.

In the fu­ture lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and Gov­ern­ment will as­sess the suitabil­ity of avail­able houses with re­gard to hous­ing need and de­mand in the area tak­ing into ac­count the avail­abil­ity of ser­vices such as schools and pub­lic trans­port and ex­ist­ing lev­els of so­cial hous­ing.

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