Way back in October 2010 the DEHLG released the results of it’s Unfinished Estates Survey. The survey found that there were 2,846 unfinished estates across the country containing 121,275 housing units: 65% ‘completed and occupied’ (78,195), 19.2% ‘completed and vacant’ (23,250) 8.2% ‘near completion’ (9,976) and 8.1% still at ‘various stages of construction’ (9,854).

Following the results of the initial survey an Advisory Group on Unfinished Housing Developments produced a report that highlighted  350  of these estates as posing an immediate safety hazards to residents. All local authorities were contacted to assess the current ‘safety’ situation of the estates in an attempt to ensure that developers would take responsibility for vacant, unfinished homes and uncompleted site areas.

Local Authorities have since reported that a total of 180 estates across the country have now been completely abandoned by developers. The department is due to release €5million to county and city councils to deal with public safety issues on these sites in the coming weeks. It is expected that the 180 ‘abandoned’ estates will be first in line for intervention. In the IT today Willie Penrose, Minister of State for Housing, is quoted as saying “Any expenditure approved by my department must be ultimately recouped from the existing or future owners and developers of such sites in order to protect the public purse.”

Justin Gleeson