High level of va­cant homes in the county

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS - By ES­THER HAY­DEN

WEX­FORD has the sec­ond high­est num­ber of va­cant units in sur­veyed 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 Wex­ford still re­mains one of the high­est in the coun­try with 227 va­cant units last year.

It came sec­ond only to Wick­low which has 251 va­cant homes.

The re­port shows that in 2013 there were 85 de­vel­op­ments in Wex­ford sur­veyed. This reduced to 77 in 2014, 52 in 2015, 32 in 2016 and six in 2017. Of these 15 six were found to be sub­stan­tially com­plete or fully ac­tive to be re­moved from the Un­fin­ished Hous­ing De­vel­op­ments data­base.

There was a re­duc­tion of 40 per cent be­tween 2016 and 2017 and nine hous­ing es­tates re­main on the data­base.

Of the 15 de­vel­op­ments sur­veyed in 2017 just two were be­ing de­vel­oped by Wex­ford County Coun­cil. Four un­fin­ished es­tates have a num­ber of build­ings in it which are oc­cu­pied de­spite the fact that there are build­ing shells in the es­tate.

Nama also com­pleted a num­ber of un­fin­ished hous­ing es­tates around the coun­try in­clud­ing Sta­tion Court in Gorey. In De­cem­ber 2016 14 two and three bed­room prop­er­ties were handed over to ten­ants fol­low­ing a part­ner­ship be­tween the Na­tional As­set Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA), Wex­ford County Coun­cil and Oak­lee Hous­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port there are no NAMA de­vel­op­ments left in Wex­ford.

Min­is­ter 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 work­ing with the Gov­ern­ment will de­ter­mine the suit­abil­ity of avail­able houses in an area with re­gard to hous­ing need and de­mand in the lo­cal­ity tak­ing into ac­count the avail­abil­ity of ser­vices such as schools and pub­lic trans­port and ex­ist­ing lev­els of so­cial hous­ing.

Sta­tion Court in Gorey was one of un­fin­ished es­tates com­pleted by Nama.

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