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Minister Jan O’Sullivan has utterly failed to tackle unfinished estates

2 May, 2013 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government Brian Stanley TD has today said Minister Jan O’Sullivan has “utterly failed to tackle unfinished estates.”

Speaking in the Dáil on the Housing Bill, Stanley said;

“There are over 100,000 people on housing waiting lists with a total of 33,000 homes lying empty in unfinished estates. NAMA have identified 3,500 homes that are ready for allocation to social and voluntary housing. But the Minister has admitted that by the end of the year only 500 will be taken into social housing.

“All this government is doing here is continuing with the Fianna Fail social leasing. This is a disaster both from an economic and housing point of view.

“The government has been leasing these units from developers and landlords for 10 years. The total cost of the lease could be €70 to €80,000 and after 10 years the state must get the house back. This will create a huge cost for the local authority on top of the10 year leasing cost.

“Surely it would make more sense to buy some quality homes in the unfinished estates that are now on sale for knockdown prices and rent them out as social houses. Over the same 10 year period the local authorities would get rent and at the end of the term would have a valuable asset. Equally important a family would continue to have a home.

“Under the social leasing arrangement the local authority, at the end of the 10 years must enter another expensive leasing arrangement or buy a house for the family.

“There is precedent, the Land Commission took control of the unused or under used land and leased it to small farmers in desperate need of land.

“If necessary the government should bring in legislation to facilitate this.

“We cannot allow a situation to continue where tens of thousands of houses lie vacant while families languish on waiting lists for years.”


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