A new report shows that there are 2,066 unfinished ghost estates in Ireland currently. Speaking on the matter, Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan shared her plans for handling the vacant properties with RTE’s ‘Morning Ireland’ on Thursday.
The Irish Independent reports that of the 2,066 unfinished estates, 211 have been completed by local authorities, while work is continuing on another 770. A further 553 are currently being resolved, according to RTE.
Though O’Sullivan did pledge to have most of the estates completed within a year, she did say that some of the unfinished properties would have to be demolished.
While speaking with RTE’s ‘Morning Ireland,’ O’Sullivan said, “These are complex issues and it’s a process that takes time. We are addressing it and we expect considerable progress in the next year.”
“It’s a question of making the decisions required to make life better for people in these estates. Hard decisions will have to be made in some parts if these estates are not viable.”
O’Sullivan indicated that the houses most susceptible to demolition would be in the midlands and the borders as they are not in demand.
On Thursday, the Department of the Environment published a progress report regarding the ghost estates. It showed that that NAMA is funding works on 29 developments which are classified as needing urgent remedial works” at a cost of €3 million.
NAMA currently holds 137 sites, and has identified 3,200 homes which may be suitable for social housing. The Department of the Environment has agreed to take on 2,000 of these homes, but further may be acquired.
O’Sullivan said, "In some cases they have been taken over by NAMA, or part of them have been taken over by NAMA. In some cases there are receivers. In some cases the developers are still active, but maybe not very active. And in some cases the issues have been resolved and the local authority has taken over.”
"So it's an ongoing process. It's obviously a legacy issue from the collapse of the Celtic Tiger but it's one we are working on very attentively, and with a lot of co-operation from the local authorities."