2,700 Ghost Estates ‘FRIGHTENING’ – Mulvihill Snr

Filed under: Local News |

The number of ‘ghost’ housing estates around the country stands at 2,700 according to the first official government estimate. The Planning Minister, Ciaran Cuffe TD, needs to publish this report in its entirety.

Cllr Mulvihill  stated What is clear is that people who bought homes in these estates many in East Cork are living through a hell that has come about as a result of a government, that saw housing policy simply as a means of delivering bounty to their pals in the construction and investment community, rather than providing homes for people who need a place to live.

We need a plan of action to tackle this scourge, as a matter of urgency. These estates are at best an eye-sore and at worst a safety and security risk for local residents.

Cllr Mulvihill continued We also need clarity with regard to the Homebond Insurance scheme, which is supposed to provide 10 years’ cover against major structural defects for purchasers of new homes. In many cases, the scheme will either not apply to the stranded home owners in some of these ghost estates in East Cork , but even where it does apply it is insufficiently resourced to deal with all the claims that will be made.

Regrettably, in many instances there would seem to be no alternative than to bulldoze unfinished homes. Many ghost estates are located in isolated areas where there are no services, and no demand for homes, and so the prospect of ever using them for the purpose for which they were intended, is remote.

In other instances, solutions which will match the demand for housing at local level with the opportunity that these ghost estates provide, should be pursued. There is considerable demand for housing under social, affordable and voluntary schemes in many parts of the country, and unfinished estates may provide a means of addressing these demands.

In conclusion Cllr Mulvihill stated Innovative approaches need to be taken such as examining how housing co-operatives could be facilitated in these circumstances, and whether it is possible to purchase these properties at cost, as a more financially viable alternative long-term leasing programme.

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